The launch of NXS#3 Viral Bodies was a three week celebration at night club De School, where NXS presented its immersive video installation SYZYGY alongside a supporting program of live performances, music interventions and discussions.
Building upon the idea of the club as a single beating body, a heterotopia that obeys to its own sets of rules, the installation and the program of Viral Bodies addressed the new opportunities that digital tools and online environments are creating to transgress the boundaries of social conventions and expressions, transforming our understanding and stereotypes of what a body could or should be.
During the spectacular opening event on 17 May 2018, SYZYGY premiered in de aula of the former school building, now techno club. The twelve minute visual essay is speculative investigation on body norms, non-binary identities and empathy in relation to digital technology in the present and future society. SYZYGY is accompanied by an original soundtrack by Sega Bodega and a spatial intervention by Messgewand, inviting the visitor to become part of the landscape that seemed to merge from the projection into the physical space.
From May 17th till June 3rd 2018, a weekly program celebrated and built upon the theme of Viral Bodies, for which NXS invited a various group of collaborators.
During an ongoing fashion intervention by Amsterdam based genderless fashion label Hardeman, famous Amsterdam clubber and LGBTQ activist Kristianus van der Waag showcased the specially designed “body norm free” jeans. A panel discussion with Nishant Shah, Penny Rafferty and Reba Maybury, moderated by Emma van Meyeren, dived into the many contexts and connections Viral Bodies have to all of their work (bodies at risk, net neutrality, identity politics, affect, desire) and how such questions relate to distinctions between the personal and the political. A DJ set by Crystallmess featured a cyborg ballroom performance by the House of Vineyard followed by a set by Sega Bodega. Especially for Het Weekend (May 19-21), Arie de Fijter scripted a performance as a direct extension of the main character in SYZYGY. At dawn and dusk, SYZYGY was extended beyond its projection into a physical experience that incorporated De School's former classrooms, corridors and garden. NXS hosted the workshop The Collective Viral Body, which focused on exploring, rethinking and elaborating on the theme within a collective experience.