Shattering Dreams

Sep 08, 2023

The interactive video installation “Shattering Dreams” creates a fascinating world in which oversized spiders run along the walls and chase visitors. Visitors have the option of escaping the spiders, but they can also choose to face them boldly and fight them off or destroy them. This unique art installation allows viewers to actively interact with the spiders in a microcosm and at the same time view the upended macrocosm as passive observers.

“Shattering Dreams” playfully invites viewers to look their fears in the eye. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. This phobia is used metaphorically in the art installation to draw attention to the fundamental nature of fears: They are often irrational and beyond our control. Fears can arise from various sources, be it traumatic experiences, cultural imprints or existential questions. This results in a cognitive distortion in which reality is interpreted in such a way that fear is triggered.

From an evolutionary perspective, anxiety served as a warning signal for our ancestors. Nowadays, however, fears can no longer be traced back to a single cause. Anthropology shows us that anxiety is often caused by cultural and social influences. Abstract anxiety disorders can occur as early as childhood as a result of family influences. Over time, individual fears can even become collective fears, especially when they encounter common thought patterns, cultural influences and social dynamics in a society. Anxiety becomes a fundamental manifestation of our own insecurity and vulnerability.