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Recorded talks: Hannes Koch on Rain Room

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“I’m not a fan of overburdening art with too much messaging, but if it has to do something, if there’s any purpose, then it’s to rip people out of their daily thing and make them stop.”

Following blockbuster showings to over half a million patrons worldwide since 2012, art group RANDOM INTERNATIONAL's Rain Room finally made its way to Melbourne in 2019/20. This interactive installation invited participants to walk through a downpour of continuous rain without getting wet. Motion sensors detected the movements of the human body as they navigated through the darkened underground space, becoming performers in this intersection of art, technology and nature.

ACMI invited Hannes Koch, co-founder of RANDOM INTERNATIONAL, to speak to Fenella Kernebone about his practice, the conception and intention of Rain Room, and the importance of healthier human relationships with technology that aren’t dependent on the use of smartphones or social media, but on consciousness, perception, and instinct.

About the speakers

Hannes Koch co-founded art group RANDOM INTERNATIONAL in 2005 with Florian Ortkrass. A collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art, RANDOM INTERNATIONAL work with larger teams of diverse and complementary talent out of studios in London and Berlin. Questioning aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age, the group’s work invites active participation. Hannes and team explore the human condition in an increasingly mechanised world through emotional yet physically intense experiences. The artists aim to prototype possible behavioural environments by experimenting with different notions of consciousness, perception, and instinct.

Fenella Kernebone is the Head of Curation for TEDxSydney responsible for leading the programming for one of the largest TEDx events in the world. A noted television and radio presenter and producer and has hosted radio and television shows on ABC TV, SBS TV, RN, Triple J, podcasts such as Trackwork, a season of It's a Long Story (Sydney Opera House podcast) and the TEDxSydney Livestream and Adventure Series.