DKB VR Art Prize

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About the VR ART PRIZE

The VR ART PRIZE awarded by Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB), in cooperation with the Contemporary Arts Alliance (CAA) Berlin, is the first art prize for virtual reality in the field of visual arts with an institutional exhibition in Germany.


The prize focuses on exploring the artistic potential of new technologies, seeking to explore and critically reflect on how they impact on individuals and society. The prize aims to contribute to the structural establishment of this emerging medium in art.


In cooperation with the CAA Berlin, DKB is awarding 5 working grants in 2020 to visual artists who work with virtual reality: each grant is for a period of 4 months and worth EUR 1,000 per month. As of 27 February 2021 the works of the winning artists be shown at an exhibition at Haus am Lützowplatz (HaL) Berlin. At the opening ceremony, 3 VR ART PRIZES will be awarded, with a total endowment of EUR 12,000.


The call for participation is closed. Thank you for 104 mind-blowing applications!


The following works have been nominated for the VR ART PRIZE by DKB in Cooperation with CAA:



The artists will finish their projects from September on during the working grants. 

Artistic Director Tina Sauerlaender


Tina Sauerlaender is artistic director of the VR ART PRIZE by DKB in cooperation with CAA Berlin.


Tina Sauerlaender is an art historian, curator and writer who focuses on the impact of the digital and the internet on individual environments and society as well as on virtual reality in visual arts. She is co-founder and director of the independent exhibition platform peer to space and has been organizing and curating international group exhibitions since 2010, like The Unframed World. Virtual Reality as Artistic Medium for the 21st Century (House of Electronic Arts Basel, 2017). Together with curator Erandy Vergara she developed the exhibition series Critical Approaches in Virtual Reality Art and realized projects like Envisioning the Future. Other World Perspectives in Virtual Reality Art (Halcyon Arts Lab, Washington, DC, 2018) or Speculative Cultures. A Virtual Reality Art Exhibition (Kellen Gallery, Parsons/The New School, New York, 2019).


Tina Sauerlaender, photo by J. Pegman, 2020

Members of the expert jury

A shortlist of applicants has been drawn up; the expert jury selected five for the award of one working grant each worth EUR 1,000 per month for the period September to December 2020. The members of the expert jury are: 


  • Sabine Himmelsbach, Director, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)
  • Astrid Kahmke, Director and Curator, Virtual Worlds Festival, Munich
  • Wolf Lieser, Gallery Director, DAM, Berlin
  • Ulrich Schrauth, Artistic Director, VRHAM! Festival, Hamburg
  • Dr. Alexandra von Stosch, Co-Founder CAA Berlin / Director Art and Culture, Artprojekt Group, Berlin

Sabine Himmelsbach

‘Virtual reality means experiencing works of art instead of merely viewing them. In virtual reality, there is no longer any distance from the world as we experience it. One is situated in the middle of the work of art and exists at the centre of a digitally created world. This approach enables a completely unique access and experience for the viewer.’


Since March 2012, Sabine Himmelsbach has been the director of HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel). After studying art history in Munich, she worked for galleries in Munich and Vienna from 1993–1996, and later became the project manager for exhibitions and conferences for the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria. In 1999, she became the exhibition director at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. From 2005–2011, she was the artistic director of the Edith-Russ-House for Media Art in Oldenburg, Germany. In 2011, she curated ‘gateways. Art and Networked Culture’ for the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn as part of the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 program. Her exhibitions at HeK in Basel include ‘Ryoji Ikeda’ (2014), ‘Poetics and Politics of Data’ (2015), ‘Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pre-absence’ (2016), ‘unREAL’ (2017), ‘Lynn Hershman Leeson: Anti-Bodies’, ‘Eco-Visionaries’ (2018) and ‘Entangled Realities. Living with Artificial Intelligence’ (2019). As a writer and lecturer, she is dedicated to topics related to media art and digital culture.


(c) portrait Sabine Himmelsbach by Christian Knoerr



‘The medium of virtual reality heralds a paradigm shift within the creative process, its experience regarding narrative structures and its reception and perception. It is exciting to witness how artists visualise their perceptions as an entirely new experience.’


Astrid Kahmke is the director and co-founder of the Virtual Worlds Festival and the head of the European Creators’ lab for artistic XR. In the past she has produced international feature films which won numerous awards, was creative director of the Bavarian Film Centre for seven years and curated the international ‘i4c’ conferences. Due to her expertise, she is in demand internationally to appear as a speaker, guest lecturer and panelist. Together with INVR, she produced a VR installation that premiered at the Biennale Venice VR 2019 and is member of the scientific advisory board of the academy for theatre and digitality in Dortmund. Astrid participates in numerous juries and committees with a focus on narrative XR.



‘VR seems to be the fulfillment of our most ancient dreams: to be fully immersed in a new world.’


Wolf Lieser from Wiesbaden founded the DAM Projects in 1998, consisting of the DAM online museum, DAM Gallery  and the DAM DIGITAL ART AWARD |DDAA|. He created the first gallery for digital media in London during the years 1999 – 2002. Since 2003, he has been at the DAM Gallery in Berlin. The emphasis is on digital media in art from the 1960s to the present. In 2009, he published his introductory book Digital Art, which has been translated into six languages. He regularly participates in international talks, symposia and juries.


Ulrich Schrauth

‘What is extraordinary about virtual reality art? The spectator becomes the centre of an artistic experience. You don’t look at a work of art from a distance anymore, you are situated right in the middle of it. “Go in instead of look at” was what the U.S. performance artist Allan Kaprow said, and this sums up the experience.’


Ulrich Schrauth is the initiator, as well as the creative director, of the ‘VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival’ in Hamburg and supervises various international projects within the field of digital media as a creative director. In addition, he is the XR & Immersive Programmer for the annual BFI London Film Festival. On a regular basis he acts as a jury member, for the Fedora Digital Art Prize, Laval Virtual/France and the VREFEST Rome/Italy, among others.

In addition, Ulrich is the speaker and moderator, with a focus on immersive art, for the SXSW Festival Austin/Texas, the Film Festival in Cannes/France and the European Jazz Conference Novara/Italy, just to name a few. Ulrich Schrauth has many years of professional experience in artistic planning, the organisation and curation of festivals, theatre and music productions.


(c) portrait Ulrich Schrauth by Catrin-Anja Eichinger


Dr. Alexandravon Stosch

‘Virtual reality exists only because the viewer sees it. It offers, unlike the encounter with art in real space, a holistic experience. The immersive experience within an individual and interactive world enables a new sensual perception beyond the market-driven object fetishism, and thus stands for a new concept of art.’


Alexandra von Stosch is an author, curator and lecturer with a doctoral degree in art history. After graduating from the Sorbonne in Paris, she was responsible for national art-in-architecture projects, as well as for the art collection of the Société Générale, La Défense. From 1997 to 2001, she founded and directed the International Centre for Curatorial Studies in New York. In Berlin she was co-founder of the Contemporary Arts Alliance Berlin, supporting talents in the fields of fine arts, dancing, music and drama. Among other things, she taught at Humboldt University, and since 2017 at the Barenboim Said Academy. Furthermore, Alexan­dra von Stosch is a member of the board at Villa Aurora/Thomas Mann House e.V., at Stadt­museum Berlin, on the scientific board of Berlinische Galerie, as well as an art juror. In 2015, she founded Bauhaus Council Berlin e.V., a platform for future discourse for the Bauhaus Archives. Since March 2017, she heads the Art & Culture Department of the Artprojekt Group and has been a member of the Executive Board since January 2019.

Prizes & exhibition

The expert jury selected the artists who are receiving a working grant of EUR 1,000 per month from September to December 2020.

The works of these 5 winners will be exhibited at the HaL in Berlin from 27 February to 18 April 2021. At the opening ceremony on the evening of 26 February 2021, 3 prizes worth a total of EUR 12,000 will be awarded among the exhibiting artists.

VR ART PRIZE Shortlist

Thank you for 104 mind-blowing applications! On the shortlist are: 



The winners of the working grants will be announced in September 2020. 

Partners DKB & CAA

DKB organizes the VR ART PRIZE in cooperation with CAA Berlin. 


DKB has embraced digitalisation since the turn of the millennium, addressing the potential of new technologies from the very outset: in 2001, it founded one of the first internet banks without physical premises and introduced cashless payment. Since it was founded in 1990, it has placed particular emphasis on the sustainable orientation of its financial business operations, with a commitment to construction projects such as wind turbines, solar roofs, child daycare facilities, nursing homes, hospitals and affordable housing.
In offering the VR Art Prize, DKB reorients its commitment to the arts sector with a focus on social added value: the idea is to promote artistic engagement with the digitalisation of society and the changes this entails.


Founded in 2007, CAA Berlin is a private platform that supports the young generation of contemporary art and culture in Berlin. It seeks to promote dialogue between art, society and business. With the VR Art Prize, CAA now supports a young, pioneering art scene in Germany.