Botanic Quartet @ Ars Electronica, 2020

Contagious Whisper

Video, 2020, Collaboration with Manu Luksch


Awed by the observation of the  impact of a powerful virus on human life and culture, the two artists imagined a future, where such viral force is harnessed as a communication agent of “information infection”. Their film envisions a “Viral Communication Network”, which unites people and empowers them to rebuild collective life that had been ravaged by unregulated capitalism (where gains are private and losses are public).

When the Hyper Age of accelerated online life ends with an Infodemic, and causes the collapse of civilisation, bioengineer Symbia begins developing a new communication network based on the memovirus. It infects people with information – harmless for people’s health but transformative of their minds.

As the dominant TechCorps will be aware that the memovirus threatens their rule, desert rebel Durango’s mission to track down a missing crucial component is very risky – will he succeed and help the uprising?

Scott Kildall (Durango) shot the desert footage during the COVID-19 pandemic while camping on public land near the Salton Sea and Slab City. Manu Luksch (Symbia) created her sci-fi sequences by recruiting cast and team amongst family and neighbours, who she is in lockdown with in Europe.

Format & Length

HD 1920 x 1080 16:9, stereo, colour, 8 min 44 sec


Directed and Written by Scott Kildall & Manu Luksch

Nano – Quentin Deborne

Durango – Scott Kildall

Symbia – Manu Luksch

Sound & Code – Mukul Patel

Model making – Indigo Luksch

Point cloud code developed in collaboration with Federico Foderaro, Mukul Patel, Jack Wolf

Thanks to the citizens of Ellingfortonia

Commissioned for No-Place Like the Future

“No-Place Like the Future” is a project created by the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, the Austrian Cultural Forum DC, the Austrian Cultural Forum NY, the Consulate General of Austria in Los Angeles, and Open Austria in San Francisco. This project is funded by the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs.