Surprisingly, fifty per cent of the artists answered positively to the query sent by the curators. Their answers presented a diversity of approaches to the issue of national identity, from downright absurd, sarcastic, and careerist ones, to those that seriously questioned the ethnic-centred logic of the concept. For example, Argentinian artist Enrique Jezik reflected on the contingency of the national identity of his grandparents, who spoke Hungarian and were born in Slovakia during the monarchy. Other artists tried to critique altogether the idea of national identity based on the “right of blood” or jus sanguinis. This was the case with Austrian artist Robert Jelinek when representing the virtual State of Sabotage, where nationality is real and ethnic origin irrelevant. There were others who suggested alternative approaches to identity construction: for instance Borbála Luca Sárai problematized her otherwise obvious Hungarian origin evoking the role of epigenetics, while a Czech artist Martin Zet envisioned possible identity changes introduced by marrying someone of a different nationality, stating that: “if a man and a woman make one whole, I would be 50 % Hungarian.” In a substantial number of responses, the participating artists questioned their ability to determine whether they qualify as Hungarians and many of them saw their origin as not only essentially hybridized by the historical instability of shifting borders (thus illustrating the material-discursive quality of nationality) but, moreover, open to permanent negotiation.
The artefacts within the exhibition spotlighted the concept of national identity while simultaneously unhinging it as a given. Following Karen Barad, we might see these artifacts as not only interactive objects and processes, but as intra-active devices targeting diverse materialisations of national identity. The concept of intra-action applies on two levels here: within the framework of broader macro-sociological conceptualizations (where the agencies of geographies and borders, laws and legal systems, languages and cultures, ethnicities and genetics intra-act), as well as on the micro-level of an individual (and his or her relationship to herself or himself), thus engaging large-scale conceptualizations of national identity on the one hand and the individual embodied manifestations of national identities on the other. Furthermore, these intra-actions can take place in between or rather from within the “objects” in the exhibition and the “subjects” encountering them (i.e. artists, viewers, and curators themselves). Following Barad, national identity – as with any other identity figure – is always intra-actively produced. Only through intra-actions do entities become determinate and meaningful. In her refusal to pursue a “metaphysics of individualism”, Barad sees the “individual” as being in the making rather than as a defined and closed entity: “According to my agential realist ontology, or rather ethico-onto-epistemology […] ‘individuals’ do not preexist as such but rather materialize in intra-action.” (Barad 2012, 77) So, regardless of whether one is writing an email denouncing chauvinism, searching for a grandmother’s birth certificate, or singing a national anthem with words in a foreign language, these discursive practices create specific boundaries and properties of “national identity”. This process of simultaneous making and unmaking of “identity” is potentially endless since there is no immutable, distinct, and finite national (or any other) identity. To use Barad’s terms: “Discursive practices are boundary making practices that have no finality in the ongoing dynamics of agential intra-activity.” (Barad 2007, 149) These discursive practices cannot be reduced to linguistic constructs or confined to a purely semantic realm. Even if the artefacts within the discussed exhibition use language and written text as the main conveyor of meaning, they cannot be stripped of their materiality – which is a materiality that directly challenges and incorporates the embodied selves of those partaking in the intra-active process. Thus to perceive the artefacts through the lens of agential realism means to abandon an a priori distinction between “art objects” and their “viewers” and to see instead the whole constellation of intra-active processes as generating “specific material reconfigurings through which ‘objects’ and ‘subjects’ are produced”. (Barad 2007, 148)
To stay with Barad’s terminology, we could maintain that artefacts function as apparatuses. The term apparatus derives from Barad’s discussion of laboratory experiments, yet it expands to become synonymous with material-discursive arrangements productive of matter and meaning. Apparatuses are not simply laboratory setups – or to use the analogy here – artefacts within an exhibition – they are material configurations that re(con)figure boundaries “productive of, and part of, the phenomena produced”. (Barad 2007, 146)  Thus, as a productive apparatus, the anthem-karaoke video-installation containing technologically enhanced singing bodies and their performance of hybrid identities, creates an entanglement of the human and the non-human, organic and technological, natural and cultural, physical and conceptual, material and discursive, while simultaneously materializing the boundaries and forming the co-constituting phenomena. In this way, both the “artefacts” and the “viewers” do not precede the situation, but emerge from the intra-action within the arrangement. In like manner, the national identities at stake here are not pre-existent but produced as a result of “differential patterns of ‘mattering’” (Barad 2012, 77) orchestrated by the apparatus. To speak of oneself as Hungarian, Slovak, Czech or any other nationality is to perform these differential patterns and to produce various national identities. Embracing agential realism does not amount to rendering these distinctive descriptors meaningless; instead it leads to problematizing the allegedly self-evident nature of the differences that constitute them. There is no set of given or fixed (national or other) identities. Instead, if we understand identity as intra-active we are instructed to pay attention to “how differences are made and remade, stabilized and destabilized, as well as their materializing effects and constitutive exclusions.” (Barad 2012, 77)