Hoc Est Enim Porcus Meum is a mixed-reality environment, created for the Palace arts festival in Poland in July 2018.
The experience was conceived of, constructed, and exhibited in the course of just three days, and utilised the existing structure of an 18th Century pig barn as a substrate for an interactive weather system that appeared to fill the building, causing the outer vestibules to collapse and leaving the user stranded on the central causeway.
The festival took place in the grounds of an ancient Bishops’s Palace near Wrocław in Poland, and the work sought attention for the ornate construction of the barn, built by a Bishop for the comfort of his pigs.
Of course, the pigs were not the only intended audience for the barn, and in the tradition of the Baroque, the ornate architectural space was intended to operate on the insecurities of the Bishop’s guests, as they were entertained with neither worse, nor better pomp than the animals served to them at dinner time.
The decorative arts have always been highly functional in comparable ways, and there is a great practicality underlying the orchestration of an escapist event like the Palace festival, where models for a more ideal world can be trialed under ideal conditions. In the tradition of religious experience, I wanted to create something entertaining, tactile, cerebral, and sensorially exhilarating for a festival audience.
The “wrapping” of an existing functional space with a super-structural layer of experience is a process that is inherently dis-associating. I think it’s important to explore this further, as the dis-associative space is an inherently vulnerable position in which an uninitiated participant can quickly become overwhelmed. Ornamental wrappings brought stained glass and organs into the administration centres of Europe, and Virtual Reality into the barnyard.