Schöne neue Welten. Virtuelle Realitäten in der zeitgenössischen Kunst
Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, Germany
10.11.2017 – 08.04.2018
The introduction of virtual reality has led to a pictorial revolution that is radically changing not only our perception of images, but also our relationship with reality. Accessible illusionary worlds conjured up in virtual spheres provide visitors with a very concrete experience. As secluded from the outside world as possible, they become immersed and physically involved in the pictorial spaces by means of interactive elements and additional devices.
Widely compatible technologies, such as VR headsets and 3D projectors, play an increasingly important role in everyday life. Different fields of application, such as the 3D-supported monitoring of operations, video games, trauma therapy, and the digitization of lost cultural goods, are proof of the ongoing impact virtual spatial images have in various fields of life.
The exhibition is dedicated to this evolution in image technology and explores the interconnections between virtual and real contexts. The socio-political dimension of these technologies is a key aspect. Within the tension field of illusion and critical distance, the artists reflect their application in fields such as forensics, the porn industry, and modern warfare. After all, the control over virtual space always goes hand in hand with the control over real space. Thus, virtuality and reality are closely intertwined.
The immersion into illusionary worlds is by no means unprecedented. Moreover, it is rooted in a long tradition. Panoramas, dioramas, or stereoscopes serve as tokens of the century-old interest in immersive media. Consequently, stereoscopic photographs as footage on the history of the Zeppelin from 1900 until the 1930s are the starting point of the exhibition.
The show reflects the different varieties of virtuality. Visitors explore the exhibition and experience the merging of virtual and real worlds along a course developed in collaboration with the Berlin based architecture firm Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik. The display ranges from simulated reproductions of real environments to 3D videos and Virtual Reality which generates an all-encompassing spatial illusion with the aid of VR headsets. The artists represented in this show acquire immerse visual media and work together with programmers to refine technologies, thus invigorating the interdisciplinary interface between art and technology.
Participating artists: Halil Altindere, Salome Asega & Reese Donohue & Tongkwai Lulin, Trisha Baga, Banz & Bowinkel, micha cárdenas, Harun Farocki, Forensic Architecture, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Florian Meisenberg, The Nest Collective