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selected projects | Im Neunten Himmel




In Ninth Heaven | Im Neunten Himmel
or The Far End of Europe

An Interactive Synthetic Scape by Sylvia Eckermann and Gerald Nestler.

Composition and spatial acoustics: Peter Szely

Museum Stein, Minoritenplatz 4, 3504 Krems-Stein AT,
Sept. 2008 - Sept.2009


projection, 5 channel audio system, golden mirrors, interface, 1 computer size 4x4x2.5m


In Ninth Heaven or The Far End of Europe


has at its core the astonishing life of Andreas Koffler, an Austrian Jesuit missionary who travelled to China and became a member at the court of the last Ming emperor.


Fluctuating between the worlds of early Baroque and late Ming/early Qing eras, the project explores a rather brief yet multi-faceted period of enlightened dialogue between Europe and China. Although characterised by a respectful scientific exchange, it took place in a world that was troubled by the Thirty Years' War, Inquisition and Counter-Reformation on the one side, and by the insurgences during the turnover of the dynasties on the other.

But this dialogue unfolded by the Jesuits of the China mission in the 17th century inspired Europe as well as China, influencing Arts, Sciences and thinking modes in both civilizations. It has also changed up to this day the way the West has been looking at the "Middle Kingdom".

In Ninth Heaven takes some of the fascinating historic records and illustrations of this time and turns them into a virtual journey through a space of visual-acousmatic impressions. The project is based on a 3D real-time display system that is incorporated into a customised installation architecture. The visitors, seemingly enclosed by the media body as if by a third skin, create their own audio-visual journey, embracing and exploring this space of imagination, while the architecture appears to be in motion itself.

This 3D Synthetic Scape questions notions of centre and periphery, cultural integration and exclusion, and reflects issues of being in between identity, conformity and transition. Time, space and gravity dissolve for a moment into the scope of experiencing another horizon.

Sylvia Eckermann: concept, installation, art work
Gerald Nestler: concept, research, text
Peter Szely: composition and sound-architecture
Doron Goldfarb: programming
Josef Wienerroither: additional 3D-objects
Eduard Wildner, Frederc Lion: voiceover


supported by: Land Niederösterreich, SKE austromechana, BOSE GesmbH