The farvel project is completed.

With farvel, Jennifer Beitel, Markus Traber and Lilli Berger have spent two years developing virtual 3D memory spaces and staging various events in Virtual Space. The team conducted research during the funding period up to and including September 2022 with the help of start-up grants from the Berlin University of the Arts and the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. Two companies emerged from the research results and start-up experiences:

Markus Traber and Jennifer Beitel with

Lilli Berger with

P.S. All rooms, including Mandy's memory room, will continue to be available under and will be jointly managed by us.

Stream running. Camera running. Johanna are you ready? Okay, we're live. "Hello and welcome to the Virtual Reading with Johanna Klug ... " a blonde avatar announces. On 16 December at 6 p.m. the time had come. Just like about 20 guests from the bereavement sector, Johanna Klug slipped into a 3D avatar of herself that evening. As a trained bereavement counsellor and author, she read live from her new book "Mehr vom Leben" (More of Life), in which she writes vividly about her experiences as a bereavement counsellor. With the reading in the virtual 3D space, Johanna is fulfilling the numerous requests she has received to hold a reading online. At the same time, farvel opens the newly designed farewell room for external guests for the first time. 

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During the reading with Johanna Klug on stage in the virtual space

It is also a project between friends. Lilli Berger and Johanna Klug met two years ago in an email exchange. An intimate exchange developed about all events, always including the topic of death. While Johanna, as a companion for the dying, deals mainly with what happens shortly before death, Lilli, as a funeral director, deals mainly with the things that happen after death. With the virtual reading from Johanna's first book in, the heart projects of the two are united and thus the topics of death and mourning are given a place in our society and in virtual space.

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Johanna "Lost in Windows" at the rehearsal
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Johanna and the farvel team at the rehearsal

The event was prepared weeks in advance. At first glance, nothing about the appropriate room set-up, invitations, text passages and a dress rehearsal in the room differed from a physical reading. A closer look reveals that a lot of work went into it. For example, the avatars were modelled on the guests, server capacities were increased, user-friendliness improved and the stream prepared. Johanna Klug said shortly before the reading: "It's an emotional moment when I read live from my book and I'm curious how it will be digitally.

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Johanna and Lilli at the welcome for the first virtual reading

And that's what really happened:

At 17:30 we welcomed the first guests into the room. The controls still felt a little unfamiliar to one or the other person. Johanna, Lilli and Markus directly picked up the guests and familiarised them with the virtual environment, while Jennifer was already setting up the camera recording for the YouTube livestream.

From 17:45, the guests looked around the room, could marvel at their avatar in a camera and read the quotes in the room. In the process, they interacted naturally and playfully with the environment. And if something didn't work, everyone also communicated via chat and helped each other.

When the reading began at 18:00, Johanna and Lilli went on stage, whose audio signal was amplified so that they could be heard evenly throughout the room. In addition, Johanna's camera image was streamed across the screen on stage. She could see the other guests in the room and finally started reading three special passages. The guests asked interesting questions after each block, either directly via audio or chat. After an hour, the reading ended and we opened the exchange among ourselves.  

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Johanna at the reading and listening guests as 3D avatars

Thank You:

We would like to thank all those who were able to be present to experience with us the first virtual reading in our 3D farewell room.

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View from the column of the reading room

The reading was recorded live on Youtube and can be viewed at the following link:

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