THIS COULD BE YOU – Disembodiment in Virtual Reality Art

THIS COULD BE YOU – Disembodiment in Virtual Reality Art

With: Claire Hentschker (US), Jessy Jetpacks (ARE/ UK), Martina Menegon (IT/AUT), Zeesy Powers (US)

Curated by: Peggy Schoenegge (peer to space)

At: Overkill Festival, The Netherlands

From: November 23rd to 25th, 2018

Today we communicate via several digital applications, and present our identity on the Internet. Social VR enables us to meet our friends’ avatars in a virtual space independently from our body’s actual place. Thus being evocative of the plot of the Sci-Fi movie Matrix (1999), in which the physical body stays in a bunk while the consciousness acts in a virtual place.

Martina Menegon, All Around Me Are Familiar Faces, artistic VR experience, still, 2018

Martina Menegon, All Around Me Are Familiar Faces, artistic VR experience, still, 2018

In 1991, Hans Moravec wrote in his essay The Universal Robot that the human body is disused and won’t be necessary in our future anymore. He said it would be possible to download one’s consciousness to a computer. By transferring the mind to a technological medium the body would becomes insignificant. As a result human beings would not be embodied and their existence would not depend on biological mortality anymore. Consequently human beings would become immortal.

With recent technological progress Moravec’s idea no longer seems completely absurd. Virtual Reality (VR) as a technological and artistic medium enables users to experience disembodiment. The exhibition THIS COULD BE YOU. Disembodiment in Virtual Reality is dedicated to the feeling of incorporeality. The title refers to Zeesy Powers’ eponymous VR artwork, in which the user inhabits the body of an old woman. Over the course of time the body of the old woman becomes the body of the user. Entering a virtual world allow users to immerse themselves in a completely different place without a physical body. There, users can be everyone and everything. Feeling present in the virtual space, makes them forget about their bodies in reality.

VR experiences implicate future living scenarios but also reflect the current state of our society and its relation to technology. Claire Hentschker shows a deserted world without any humans. While reflecting the presence, her work gives an impression of what a disembodied future of formerly inhabited places could look like. Jessy Jetpacks plays with the re-embodiment in the virtual room and questions wether our bodies have a memory and if such an experience has consequences. Martina Menegon and Zeesy Powers also confront the users with bodies that are not theirs. While Menegon provides her 3D scanned face as a mask-like object, the users interact with; Powers mirrors the user as a 90 years old woman. By doing so, they create a vision of what life with an immaterial body could be like and what it might or might not feel like.

THIS COULD BE YOU. Disembodiment in Virtual Reality is part of the Overkill Festival 2018 in Enschede (NL). The festival regroups art, games, movies and performances and opens a new discourse.

The artistic VR experiences are presented in cooperation with Radiance VR.

Link to the Facebook Event

Website of Overkill Festival

peer to space’s curator Peggy Schoenegge at Process Festival

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Peggy Schoenegge will give a talk about her work as a curator with a focus on digital and new media art at this year’s Process Festival, Dortmund on October 6th. The topic of the festival is humans and machines. In keeping with the theme Peggy will especially concentrate on this relationship in her work. She will also bring two VR artworks by Martina Menegon and The Swan Collective, presented by Radiance VR.

 

Further information and program

 

 

 

peer to space at VRHAM!

peer to space’s director Tina Sauerlaender and curator Peggy Schoenegge are part of this year’s VRHAM! Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Tina is part of the jury as well as moderating the panel on VR and art VR here to talk! on Saturday, June 9th at 5 pm. Peggy will open the discourse program with a keynote What the f*** is VR on Thursday, June 7th 2018.

VRHAM! – Virtual Reality and Art Festival Hamburg 2018

June 7th to June 17th 2018

VRHAM! is Germany’s first artistic Virtual Reality festival. VRHAM! is presenting a large variety of outstanding international VR experiences in Hamburg’s Oberhafenquartier, unique in its form and sure to transcend the borders of traditional perception and experience of art.

Further information and program

peer to space at DIGIFEST in Toronto

Install view: Li Alin, Enter Me Tonight, House of Electronic Arts Basel, 2017 / Photo by Franz Wamhof

Install view: Li Alin, Enter Me Tonight, House of Electronic Arts Basel, 2017 / Photo by Franz Wamhof

VR projects at Digifest:

H.E.A.R.T. by Erin Gee and Alex M. Lee
Enter Me Tonight by Li Alin

Presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto
Curated by Tina Sauerländer (Berlin) and Erandy Vergara (Montreal)

At the invitation of the Goethe-Institut curators Tina Sauerländer and Erandy Vergara have selected VR works for this year’s Toronto Digifest, including two recent pieces by Berlin-based Canadian artist Li Alin and Montreal-based artist Erin Gee in collaboration with South Korean-born, US-based artist Alex M. Lee. The artists use humor and irony to engage in controversial topics: emotions in first-person shooter video games and war in the case of Gee, and a futuristic exploration on human reproduction in technology-oriented times in the case of Alin.

Further information here / Tina Sauerlaender on the Goethe Blog.

Radiance VR - The new online platform for VR Art

Radiance is an online research platform and database for artistic VR experiences founded by Philip Hausmeier (Metaphysiscs VR) and Tina Sauerlaender (peer to space). Its mission is to present visual artists from all over the world working in the medium of Virtual Reality. Radiance wants to create visibility and accessibility for VR art and for a faster adoption of virtual technologies in general. Outside of huge VR industries like gaming, artistic VR experiences will become more visible and impact society through museum shows and eventually through everyone’s living rooms.

Artists: A / A, Mert Akbal, Li Alin, Salome Asega & Reese Donohue & Tongkwai Lulin, Banz & Bowinkel, Jörg Brinkmann, Leo Castaneda, Magali Daniaux & Cédric Pigot, Claudia Hart, Claire Hentschker, Martha Hipley, Rindon Johnson, Marc Lee, Serena Lee, Olivia Mc Gilchrist, Martina Menegon, Mélodie Mousset & Naëm Baron, Zeesy Powers, Tabita Rezaire, Dennis Rudolph, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Miyö Van Stenis, The Swan Collective, Tamiko Thiel, Fiona Valentine Thomann, Theo Triantafyllidis… more soon.

Slideshow: artistic VR experiences by Martina Menegon, plug your noise and try to hum, 2017 // Li Alin, Enter Me Tonight, 2016 // Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Dome of Gated Ecologies, 2017 // Tabita Rezaire, Premium Connect (Real Deal), 2017 // Rindon Johnson, My Daughter Aaliyah, 2016 // The Swan Collective, NowForeVR, 2017

TALK: Virtual Reality in Art

With Philip Hausmeier, Tina Sauerländer, Sven Slazenger, and Dr. Ursula Ströbele

Virtual Reality technologies are almost omnipresent, but what does this mean for art? Are those technologies capable of expanding our visions of art and design? Can Virtual Reality bring together the digital and physically-spatial experiences? 

April 12th, 2017, 7 pm
Eigen + Art Lab, Berlin
Event on Facebook
Image: Eigen and Art Lab