Flaviu Rogojan
lives and works in Cluj, Romania

Lecture 9: Rayguns designs uncovered at 2nd or 3rd Millenium Sites, 2021
Full HD Video
Length: 24 min 51 sec

Set in the far future, fictional archaeologists deliver a video lecture about recent artifacts they discovered, a set of rusty light guns from the 2nd or 3rd millenium CE.

The video argues that there is a connection between theories of vision and the history of conflict. Recognizing the historical importance of these light weapons, the archeologists compare their impact to the paradigm shift of the 1st millennium revolution in optics caused by Ibn Al-Haytham, and the 3rd millenium 3D rendering technology called Raytracing.

In a virtual world dictated by Cartesian coordinate grids, scans of real archaeological digs of ancient sites sit alongside fictional archaeological sites of the Rayguns, and illustrations redrawn from medieval books on optics tower over the ruins. Among the many references, the lecture is a mix of fiction and sourced texts: from ancient and modern theories of vision, to excerpts from an Al Jazeera report on a particle accelerator in the middle east, 1930s Flash Gordon episodes, and the haunting footage of Wikileaks’ collateral crime.

Installation view from:
Landscape in a Convex Mirror
01. 10. 2021 - 07. 11. 2021
curated by: Mihnea Mircan
Art Encounters Biennial
Timișoara, Romania

Raygun, 2017-2021
Glazed ceramics, metal shelving, transport boxes, 1m measuring stick, gun sight, Zenit FS-12 Fotosnaiper camera, NATO blank ammunition box, military portable TV, Full HD TV & speakers.

The body of work revolves around a little known fun-fact: the 1980s Nintendo toy light guns “kill” their target by actually taking a digital photo of the TV. Contrary to expectations raised by the raygun design, the guns don’t emit any light or rays, but instead allow the screen’s light to enter the pistol barrel to register a hit. This reversal of the direction of the rays reflects a debate in ancient and medieval theories of vision, and also hints at the role of digital image making in warfare.  Staged as an archaeological discovery in a fictional future, these toy guns are reinterpreted as historical weapons of seeing and imaging.

Raygun (solo show)
02. 02. 2017 - 28. 02. 2017
Camera K’Arte, Târgu Mureș, Romania

Raygun, 2017
Glazed ceramics, metal shelving, prints on transparent PVC
In the installation, a fictional archaeological museum’s storage shelves serve as the resting place for fictional artifacts. In this sci-fi world set in the far future, archaeologists uncovered Rayguns from 2nd or 3rd millenium CE, light pistols that work not by shooting bullets or laser beams, but kill by letting light in. Based on the Nintendo Zapper and other 1980s console light guns, the weapons are designed to take zoomed-in photographs of the screen to decide whether the player hit or missed. The ceramic artifacts hide a story of reversals, of cameras as weapons, and digital image-making as a means for violence.

hax! (solo show)
03. 10. 2019 ‒ 31. 10. 2019

21. 09. 2017 ‒ 09. 11. 2017
curated by: Stine Hollmann
at City Gallery, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany