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MK:

The Shire

Patriotism in Silicon Valley and the blurred relationship between popular culture and ideology

 Treffpunkt Schauspielhaus
 20 minutes
 Admission free
 Treffpunkt Schauspielhaus
 20 minutes
 Admission free

 ‘The Shire’ is the homeland of the hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Anduril, the flame of the West, is the sword with which Aragon wages war against evil. Palmer Luckey, ex-CEO of Oculus Rif – the VR headset manufacturer that was sold to Facebook – would also like to wage war against evil. He had named the start-up he founded in 2016 ‘Anduril Industries’. Its mission is to aid the US military and police authorities with the latest artificial intelligence-supported solutions in the fight against illegal immigration on the Mexican border. Silicon Valley technological war games with clear battle fronts.

Here we get a glimpse of a Silicon Valley trend, one that openly positions itself as patriotic: one that takes place within a network of staffing overlaps with Palantir – Anduril’s ideological brother – and other unicorn start-ups. On top of this, there are links to the alt-right scene and a capital flow connecting everyone, as well as a shift towards popular culture in the narrative structuring the company’s identity, effected through the appropriation of the Lord of the Rings universe’s mythology.

What does this form of retranslating the virtual back into reality mean for our understanding of virtual reality? And what does the non-architectonic regulation of space mean for a society?

MK Artist in Residence Luis August Krawen is setting up a video installation arbour in the Kammerspiele’s Charlottenhof that is accessible to visitors one at a time. Making use of the metaphor of the ‘The Shire” as ultimate homeland fantasy coined by Palantir and Anduril, he examines the dynamics of this development.

Admission is free of charge. Please book a free time slot anyway.