TOUR: Free Spaces. A New Social.
In recent months, our lives have shifted strongly towards the virtual and we have acquired the necessary tools for this. These technologies will continue to accompany us in the future and we aim to think beyond their pure functionalities: How can we design virtual spaces with functionalities that invite us to interact and arouse our curiosity for exchange and experimentation? Games like Second Life or Minecraft have paved the way for this, while web-based real-time communication platforms like mozilla hubs now offer even more possibilities for designing virtual interaction spaces and avatars. The Vienna Business Agency – in cooperation with sound:frame – were looking for dramaturgical, functional and narrative spatial concepts for virtual environments focusing on topics like social interaction, artistic production and knowledge exchange.
A jury consisting of representatives of the Vienna Business Agency and sound:frame and the guest jurors Wade Wallerstein (Silicon Valet / TRANSFER Gallery) and Martina Menegon (artist / lecturer) selected the best six projects out of 21 submissions.
During the Tour: Free Spaces. A new Social. you get to know the winning projects and spend some time in the Mozilla Hubs:
Kunstverein Format (*.strk) creates a virtual space for users to explore and reflect on the structures and dynamics of social spaces in the network. This also poses questions of the relation of a subject to its avatar and general presence in information based spaces, the shapes of which are formed by algorithmic interpretations of human lives.
Every island is inhabited by villagers that are NPCs (non playable characters) which function as bots, that in turn look excactly like the suggested avatar for the visitors and can therefore be mistaken as inhabitants. The visitors can explore the islands of the space as big as the internet, as small as a village and find different kinds of news in the space, which can be: myths, urban legends, facts. If the information is true or fake will not be revealed but is a matter of discussion for potential visitors.
The digital toolsets in the 21st century allows artists to go beyond classical and modern approaches of sculpture. Andreas Palfinger and Cristian Anutoiu focus on the distribution of (in the real world non-existing) sculptures, objects and spaces and create a place to discover - a hybrid form of exhibition space, a platform for artistic exchange, archive and sculpturelike palace.
This VR-Room is an artistic examination of the book Staying with the Trouble by Donna Haraway. The rooms have two main goals: Being a space for meditation and a space for immersive education.
FOAM! is a web VR experience and exhibition about understanding the presence of foam in our everyday lives. Shaped like an adventure playground various aspects of foam as they relate to the domestic will be explored. This project seeks to make this material that is typically unseen, visible and virtually palpable to bring a greater awareness of its affordances and to speculate on its life-cycle and futurity.
What can I do, when I witness a racist situation? How can one participate in changing today's society into a less racist or even an anti-racist environment? In order to partly understand, the hubs space is an attempt to simulate and reconstruct some chosen situations that have been experienced.The visitors should be confronted with what happens and how he or she would feel and react in this situation.
Moderation: Eva Fischer & Martina Menegon
The Free Spaces. A New Social. tour will take place on 5 May 2021 at 15:15 pm CET.