Monica Studer and Christoph Van den Berg
T.R.I.P presents the software program Pharmakogramm. With a psychedelic aesthetic of moving circular forms made of random, colored spectra, the work, as it is observed, allows the spectator reach a state of hallucinatory trance. The human being and the computer thus enter into direct communication by sharing the same space of consciousness.
The project T.R.I.P (Transcendance for Real and Implicit Personalities) is an artistic and scientific fictional project led by the FOWDIB foundation (The Woodhead Foundation for Digital Consciousness), equally fictitious. The members of the foundation, consisting of four humanoid scientists, one Macintosh and one iPhone, work on the fundamental question of the extension of consciousness through drugs to personal computers and test their programs on humans.
Through this creation made of fictional experiments with the characteristics of a suspense novel, T.R.I.P echoes scientific research on consciousness, the functioning of the human brain and the possibility of extending all of these abilities to machines via artificial intelligence. The work also raises the question of our addiction to digital devices, a new modern drug, by representing our unreasoned attraction to screens through visual effects that end up taking hold of us.
Swiss artists, Monica Studer (1960-) et Christoph Van den Berg (1962-) have collaborated on projects making use of computers and the Internet since the 1990s. They design works from software programs that they develop, sweeping across very diverse themes such as architecture, myths and legends, the soul and consciousness, botany, etc. In the online project Beam Me Up – complementary to the project T.R.I.P and available in an Internet website version of the work – they invite artists and authors of different specialties to broach the concept of space, which is in the middle of evolving in the age of the “cyberworld.”