At The New School, New York, a series of artists are shifting their memories and cultural identities to virtual spaces. The work of the artists who have been brought together for this exhibition expresses a common project which has been devised by the curators and is an extension of their research interests – in other words, Erandy Vergara’s post-colonial and feminist engagement and Tina Sauerlaender’s curatorial intervention, paying particular attention to digital technologies and virtual realities. The works explore new manifestations of cultural expression emerging in the digital culture sphere and speculates on their development.
The works explore new manifestations of cultural expression emerging in the digital culture sphere and speculates on their development.
Technological tools – still difficult to metabolise and, above all, to dominate – are, in one way or another, agents of the great changes which are currently taking place. The question that is being addressed is, “these processes of change lead to the adoption of new tools or practices and therefore can be considered as engines for progress, growth, and innovation”.
The works exhibited are an expression of the potential that the virtual space offers with which to leave familiar cultural constructs behind and explore new possible conditions for human existence. Specifically, Allahyari (IR/US) explores the Middle-Eastern creation myths to reflect on post-colonialism.
Scott Benesiinaabandan (CA) creates a futuristic environment inspired by an indigenous Anishinabe story. Matias Brunacci (AR/DE) facilitates an encounter between interactive technologies and shamanism.
Yu Hong (CN) turns to Chinese traditions. The research by Francois Knoetze (ZA) focuses on views and representations of South Africa. Erin Ko (US) and Jamie Martinez (CO/US) create a journey into the Underworld inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. All the aspects of live are projected into the potential as the word ‘virtual’ expresses.
Speculative Cultures: A Virtual Reality Exhibition, curated by Tina Sauerlaender, Peggy Schoenegge, Erandy Vergara
Parsons School of Design, the New School, New York, 07.02 – 14.02.2019
images: (cover 1) Matias Brunacci, «Virtualshamanism», 2018, screenshot of VR artwork © the artist (2) Francois Knoetze, «Virtual Frontiers», 2017, screenshot of VR artwork © the artist (3) Morehshin Allahyari, «She Who Sees the Unknown: Ya’jooj Ma’jooj», 2018, still of VR artwork © the artist, courtesy of DiMoDA and Upfor Gallery (4) Scott Benesiinaabandan,« Blueberry Pie Under the Martian Sky», 2016, screenshot of VR artwork © the artist (5) You Hong, «She is already gone», 2017, screenshot of VR artwork, © You Hong and Khora Contemporary.