Jana Vanecek

Twilight Of The Idols – A Simulacrum within Simulacra

28 video clips in various formats and lengths | the work was created especially for the online exhibition space Kunstsurfer

„TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS: A Simulacrum within Simulacra“ is a small, distinctive digital excerpt of the TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS artwork. Using the Kunstsurfer ad-blocker, it replaces online advertisements with artistic content, repurposing these spaces as promotional platforms for a fictional museum and its mission. These digital ‚ads‘ are themselves simulacra, promoting a museum that is in itself a simulacrum. Within this museum, the cyborg cockroaches are further representations of this notion. This creates a multi-layered exploration of the Deleuzian concept of the simulacrum.

Jana Vanecek used the same prompt to create all 4,600 cyborg cockroaches with a text-to-image generator. This AI-driven generation underscores the blurred boundaries between the original and its copy; these cyborg cockroaches are not mere imitations of real insects but unique creations. Each one of them is unique, even though they were all generated from the same prompt.

At the heart of this project is a fictional museum dedicated to 4,600 cyborg cockroaches (only a limited selection is shown on Kunstsurfer). The underlying eco-feminist speculative narrative envisions a future scenario in which these 4,600 cyborg cockroaches save the planet from the effects of global warming. The museum stands as a monument to their contributions, emphasising the importance of diversity, non-hierarchical organisation, shared knowledge production, and divergent thinking.

Jana Vanecek‘s choice of cockroaches as protagonists alludes to literary historical references such as Kafka, Marquis or McEwan. In this work, they are brought to the forefront to speak not only for themselves, but also for those marginalised and overlooked by society. At the same time they remind us of our shared destiny with the natural world, and the crucial role each species plays in the health of our planet.

Weaving together art, philosophy, AI, and speculative fiction, the artwork challenges viewers to reconsider their notions of reality, imitation, representation, and coexistence. It also reflects Deleuze‘s notion of subverting the established world of representation in Plato‘s model of original and copy – especially in the context of AI-generated imagery – echoing Nietzsche‘s proclamation of the „twilight of the idols.“