Celebrate the book launch of transmedia playwright and artist Kat Mustatea’s new first-of-its-kind augmented reality book, Voidopolis, and mark the start of the photobook’s year-long cycle of disappearance at the ICP shop during a special book signing and reception.
Voidopolis is a digital performance about loss and memory presented as an augmented reality (AR) photobook with a limited lifespan. The book loosely retells the story of Dante’s Inferno as if it were the dystopian experience of wandering through New York City during the pandemic. It features images that are created by digitally “wiping” humans from stock photography and text that is generated without the letter “e”—in homage to Oulipo author Georges Perec’s A Void, a 300-page novel written entirely without the letter—by using a modified GPT-2 text generator. The book, adapted from a series of Instagram posts that were ultimately deleted, is likewise designed to disappear: its garbled pages can only be deciphered with an AR app, and they decay at the same rate over a period of one year, after which the decay process restarts and begins again.
Kat Mustatea is a transmedia playwright and artist working at the forefront of live performance and cutting edge technology. Her experiments with language and new narrative forms enlist absurdity, hybridity, and the computational uncanny to dig deeply into what it means to be human in the digital age.
Her TED talk, about AI as a form of puppetry, offers a novel take to the meaning of generative art-making. Her work has been presented at a variety of venues including New York Live Arts, The Cube at Virginia Tech, Ars Electronica Linz, New Images Festival Paris, and Stanley Picker Gallery London, among others. She is currently an artist member of ONX Studio (funded by Onassis Foundation) and has recently held residencies and fellowships at TED, New Museum’s NEW INC incubator, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, the Orchard Project, and New York University’s ITP/IMA Program.
Born in Bucharest to Romanian / Ukrainian parents, Mustatea immigrated with her family to the United States as a child in the 80’s, among the few able to leave Romania during the Ceauşescu regime. She lives and works in New York City.