In the sphere of art and design Julijonas Urbonas – an artist, designer, researcher, and engineer – is prominently distinguished for the diverseness of his activities. At first sight, such a variety of fields might bewilder, but according to Urbonas, it is alternative reality modelling what unites his practices. There is a myriad of realities with different – psychological, social, scientific, technological, etc. – conceptions, therefore modelling them demands inter/multi/transdisciplinary competence. This is the reason why such fields as design fiction, speculative engineering, social fiction, performative architecture, choreographic heuristics, medicine, theatre and dance are combined in the artist’s practice.
The plural for the title of the exhibition “Prototypes of alternative realities” was chosen not by coincidence – not only due to Urbonas’ multi-objective activity nature, but also due to thematic and methodological diversity which has been characteristic to the author in the formation process of alternative realities for almost a decade. There, for example, one project is focusing on arithmomaniacs, that is, the people who suffer from mental disorder and count everything around; the other combines dance, robotics and amusement rides; the next is about the direction of dreams. Boxing-gloves that count the punches, a domestic earthquake generator, vomit sticks, a roller coaster killer – these are only a few examples of the artist’s fantasy.
Recent Urbonas’ projects are based on his artistic research on sensual gravitational experiences found in amusement rides, high manoeuvrability planes, acrobatics, sports, astronaut training etc. The visitors of the exhibition will have a chance to take a look at the results of such research. The model of perhaps the most famous work “Euthanasia Coaster” (2010) will be one of them. A scale-model of “Cumspin” (2015), an orgasm enhancing funfair machine, a sort of a cousin of the “Euthanasia Coaster”, will be presented in Lithuania for the first time as well as the project “Air time” (2016) – an early prototype of the hybrid of a gut-oriented architecture, an antigravity machine and an amusement ride. This project will represent Lithuania in La Triennale di Milano in April this year. Most of the exhibition showpieces are literally prototypes – unfinished works, sketches and models, that map Urbonas’ peculiar artistic research.
Thanks to: Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Paulius Vitkauskas, Gailė Pranckūnaitė and Marek Voida, Aistė Valiūtė and Daumantas Plechavičius.