2017 seems to be the year of virtual reality in the art world, as more and more contemporary artists experiment with this new medium and create virtual-reality (VR) artworks that plunge the viewers into fully immersive, computer-simulated image-space. More and more top galleries and festivals allow these works to infiltrate their exhibition spaces. This year’s Whitney Biennial in New York exhibited a VR artwork by Jordan Wolfson. Christian Lemmerz and Paul McCarthy are each screening two VR pieces at the 57th Venice Biennale, and a new virtual reality art platform named Acute Art is launching this fall to produce and distribute contemporary VR works. For their first exhibition, the organizers invited the three leading contemporary artists Marina Abramovic, Jeff Koons, and Olafur Eliasson. As a new artistic medium, the virtual reality is raising a lot of questions among the art worlds: Is virtual reality the future of art and if so, how it will change the art world? How is virtual reality transforming the way of how art is experienced? What its relationship to the traditional art media? What is its artistic value? Some of these questions were discussed last week during the event Artist Talk: Was hast du eigentlich vor Dave? at the DAM Gallery in Berlin. The art historian Ursula Ströbele (Universität der Künste), the director of the gallery Wolf Lieser, and the artists Banz & Bowinkel whose VR work Mercury is exhibited currently at the DAM Gallery were discussing the making art in virtual reality. They talked about the reasons of the artists to work with this new medium and the artist’s wish to create new situations, new experiences through the possibilities of virtual reality. Banz & Bowinkel talked also about the differences and difficulties of doing virtual reality works in comparison to traditional media, and how this new medium is going to change not only the art world, but maybe also our lives.
The exhibition runs until the 29th of July.