Solitaire Bug Report is a video made by the German collective kennedy+swan using augmented reality. The collective wants to reflect on technological evolution and its impact on nature and environment. In particular, the artists focus on the role of man within these changes: how can human attitude be changed in relation to natural dynamics? What are the possibilities for building new interchanges with the surrounding ecosystem?

Solitaire Bug Report is a project born during the health crisis and it deals with the increasing doubts that affect the mind constantly crossed by thoughts regarding the future and the role of the individual within society after this period of isolation. On the screen, hands are interacting with models of domestic objects, made through augmented reality: small tables on which tarot cards dance and move following a voice which wonders about new intentions and desires for change, as if to demonstrate the certainty of being able to improve the present state of things, but the voice can’t hide the many uncertainties about it. “I will safe humanity but first let me lie down for…. just a minute ” says the narrator’s voice, almost declaring that it is impossible to confirm the premeditated intentions.

Then a small insect appears, dissected and reassembled, the hands play with it and study it like a scientist trying to guess what the future of nature might be. In other scenes we see virtual cockroaches that are moved and thrown on the walls of a room, in a convulsive way, without having control of their own body, it seems they want to escape from that narrow place, but obviously it’s not possible to find a way out: the Kafkaesque metamorphosis applied to augmented reality. Kennedy+swan play with the different layers of reality, the imaginary and the everyday, to reflect on the psychological consequences caused by the state of isolation. How the relationship between man and its own thoughts has changed also in relation with the surrounding space? Insects crushing each other or being deconstructed into many small pieces become an opportunity to face those shortcomings we have experienced, a void that still resides in people’s thinking, which generates doubts and concern, but it could be the engine for new solutions. Gently, the video also leaves the hope of being able to act directly on our present by suggesting a new positioning that men should consider in order to find a less limited and more comprehensive approach.

Kennedy+swan use environmental narration to imagine utopian scenarios in which the role of man changes according to technological progress and, in the same time, the natural change: paradigms are inverted, nature seeks new forms of expression that need to be welcomed.


Cover Image: kennedy+swan, Solitaire Bug Report, 2020
Vertical video with augmented scenes, 9×16, 5.16 min

©kennedy+swan, Solitaire Bug Report, 2020, video still
Courtesy the artist