Joanna Hoffmann
EPIZONE [V] : Shifting Identities
EpiZone V is a multimedia artwork inscribed in the frame of the long-term project EpiMimesis: towards the new HoloWorld
EpiMimesis is a long-term art project inspired by the latest research on the origin of life (RNA World hypothesis) and its evolution. It considers the implications of the modern "All is Data" paradigm, pointing to the shift from the algorithms of the biological evolutionary past toward the unknown horizons of the technological future.
EPIZONE [V] was awarded the gold medal "Magnus Laurentius Medices" of the Biennale Internazionale Dell'Arte Contemporanea, Citta Di' Firenze (2019)
In 2018, the Project: EpiMimesis Epizone [V] Shifting Identities was granted the status of VERTIGO STARTS Residency under the European program Horizon 2020, together with Tech Project RIVAS of 3IT Fraunhofer HHI, Berlin
presented at the Vertigo EU Forum / Future STARTS / Centre Pompidou Paris, 27-30.03.2019


EpiZone [V] was inspired by research on the basic molecule of life, the RNA molecule (ribonucleic acid), from which, according to the RNA World hypothesis, the Great Web of Life originates. Today, RNA is a key tool in biotechnology and bioengineering, becoming a symbol of the achievements and challenges of the 21st century civilization.

Scientific data (RNA sequence) was provided by the Research Group of Prof. Janusz Bujnicki International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw.
The project has been realised by Joanna Hoffmann with EpiLab team of devoted artists, scientists and engineers

VR narrative:
In EpiZone [V], the interActor is introduced to the virtual zone of elementary particles, to the "data garden", where "everything begins to be possible". He plays the role of an apprentice and at the same time a catalyst for processes, and in accordance with the principles of mimesis, changes his environment.
Guided by the female voice of the System, the interActor goes through various zones and stages of creation: it creates basic atoms that also symbolize the elements, learns to combine them in pairs, then tetrahedrons and into increasingly complex molecular architecture. This process leads to the creation of a new molecule: Vitruvian RNA, the threshold of a new labyrinth of life.
EPIZONE V: Shifting Identities at the XII International Biennale of Contemporary Art Florence 2019
The exhhibition designed for the XIIth Florence Biennale 2019 comprises two main parts: An inter-active immersive VR environment and an interactive 3D hologram-like display - Vitruvian WoMan / The Breath for Leonardo
EpiMimesis – Epizone V: Shifting Identities bridges scientific research with new cultural narratives,  and poses crucial questions about what do we want to become. Contrary to the past, when algorithms of life were only in hands of Nature, today algorithms of life are influenced and driven by culture towards the future life designed by technology.
By evoking the notion of mimesis as a creative method of combining art, science, and technology, the project strives to propose a new quality or orientation of mind, by stimulating imagination and reflection, brought about through our attempt not only to follow and control in real-time but even to anticipate the transformation of data, shaping our future.

EpiZone V: Shifting Identities was inspired by the latest scientific research on the fundamental molecule of life – the RNA molecule from which, according to the RNA World hypothesis, the Big Web of Life evolved. Today RNA plays a key role in most cellular processes and the translation of the genetic information into proteins, thus it is considered a key tool of biotechnology and bioengineering.
The double helix of DNA, associated with stability, with continuity and determinism, become a cultural icon of the progress of civilization in the XX. Century.
RNA, as the expression of instability, diversity, changeability, and multiplicity of possibilities, can become an icon of achievements and transformations of the XXI century.
As a bio-molecule, RNA is not a static composition of atoms (balls & sticks) but actually a dynamic labyrinth of all its possible forms, which it has to pass through to achieve its final conformation and function. However, some RNAs, called riboswitches, like a “molecular werewolf” are able to adopt not just one but two (or sometimes more) alternative structures, which can be completely different from each other, depending on environmental factors. The primordial variability encoded in the chemical structure of RNA is used as a conceptual platform for EpiMimesis: Shifting Identities.