Artificial Paradise? Immersion in Space and Time
In autumn 2018, the Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien will address immersion in artificial worlds. Considering past as well as present approaches, Artificial Paradise? Immersion in Space and Time will bring together immersive works from previous years by twelve international artists with works newly commissioned for the exhibition.
The immersion in an image, in its sphere of imagination, is a concern which can be traced far back in art history. Currently, it is chiefly the latest technologies of virtual reality that provide access to alternative realities. But which aspects are key to dealing with immersion for young artists today? What are the qualities of these recently designed artificial worlds? And with which artistic approaches did the artists prepare themselves to break down the borders between factual reality and virtual space in the recent past?
The exhibition focuses particularly on the threshold of submersion into the artificially created worlds. Whereas the older genre of landscape painting predominantly offered the imaginary participation in an illusionistic, idealistic nature, the new works in virtual reality aim at the ⎯ preferably⎯ complete absorption of the viewer. The submersion into artificial surroundings can literally be accomplished by way of spatial installations and environments with sounds. Also, the artistic discussion of the relationship between digital and analogue aspects as well as the immersive use of media and military and political strategies will be addressed in the exhibition.
The Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien consequently follows its objectives, hence it deals with the current way media technologies are handled in art. In this panorama of artificial worlds from recent years, the thresholds of transition are graspable on a variety of levels. But can the belief in progress that is connected with the development of technology lead to paradisiacal conditions? Or do these virtually perfect worlds also entail feelings of uncertainty and numbness? The elevation of the beautiful to the sublime, as it was linked especially to romantic landscape painting in the past, involves, as it is generally known, also horror and fear due to its unattainability and perfection. And also the theory of the “uncanny valley” is based on the fact that artificially created bodies and figures of a certain degree of anthropomorphic resemblance can drastically lose credibility in the eyes of the viewer. Too real seems to be unsettling.
Artificial Paradise? Immersion in Space and Time aims at stimulating the visitors’ conjectures and speculations regarding future artificial worlds. And thus, the exhibition also posed the question of how future artificial paradises are going to be designed.
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