DKB VR Art Prize

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VR ART PRIZE 2023 Virtual Utopias

The theme for the VR ART PRIZE 2023 is ‘Virtual Utopias’


The rapid advancement of digitalisation is expanding the way we explore art by creating new virtual spaces in which artistic works can be experienced digitally, alongside analogue ones. With virtual reality technology, artists can imagine alternative utopian scenarios in a virtual space. Different societal realities are reflected and made tangible. This opens up new realms of possibility, offering moments of escape from everyday worries and constraints.


Crises such as climate breakdown, pandemics and wars instil fear, but artistic ideas can offer a way into the future. They carry the potential for change, and draw speculative alternatives to the "here and now". How can our world be made more sustainable, socially just, and peaceful? How can technology help to create a better society? And how does the way we experience art, communicate, and coexist change as we increasingly move within the digital space?


Through the increased use of VR technologies and our departure into the metaverse – the digital extension of our physical reality –, virtual worlds become part of our present. How will the imagined utopias of virtual reality interconnect with physical actuality?


The VR ART PRIZE 2023 is aimed at artists who use virtual reality and spatial installations to create visions for social change. 


Read more about the nominees for VR ART PRIZE 2023. 



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 VR ART PRIZE focuses on the artistic potential of new technologies, as well as the exploration and critical analysis of their impact on the individual and society. The prize aims to contribute to the structural establishment of this emerging medium in visual art.


In cooperation with the CAA Berlin, DKB awards 5 working grants to visual artists who work with virtual reality in 2023: each grant is for a period of 4 months and worth EUR 1,000 per month. In September and October 2023 the works of the winning artists will be shown at an exhibition at Haus am Lützowplatz (HaL) Berlin. 3 VR ART PRIZES will be granted, with a total endowment of EUR 12,000.

Artistic director Tina Sauerlaender


Tina Sauerlaender is artistic director of the VR ART PRIZE by DKB in cooperation with CAA Berlin. She was also artistic director for the 1st edition of VR ART PRIZE and curated the exhibition "Resonant Realities" at Haus am Lützowplatz, 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

shortlist of applicants was drawn up; the expert jury selected of the shortlisted artists five for the award of one working grant each worth EUR 1,000 per month for the period April to Juli 2023. The members of the expert jury are: 


  • Emma Enderby, Head of Programmes and Research, Chief Curator, Haus der Kunst, Munich

  • Nadim Samman, Curator for the Digital Sphere, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

  • Ulrich Schrauth, Artistic Director, VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival, Hamburg, and XR & Immersive Programmer, British Film Institute (BFI) and the London Film Festival

  • Dr. Alexandra von Stosch, Co-Founder & Board Member CAA Berlin gGmbH, and Managing Director of Artprojekt Entwicklungen GmbH

  • Laura Wünsche (replaces Sabiha Keyif), Project Manager Touring Exhibitions, ifa - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen


Virtual reality is still young as an artistic medium, yet it is developing very quickly thanks to a generation of artists who are eager to experiment. For the first time in art history, visual artists can create fully immersive illusionary spaces. They are working in a context in which physical laws, such as gravity, do not apply. Materiality, movement, and spatiality can all be completely reimagined in this new realm, which is what makes VR art so exciting.


Being immersed in art enables viewers to gain insights into their own existence - both in relation to themselves and to the greater society. Reality is what the eye can see. For this reason, in the VR art exhibition the VR works are embedded in large, site-specific installations and the artists’ virtual ideas find an echo in the real exhibition space. In this setting, visitors can exchange and discuss their impressions.


The first wave of VR art already took place in the 1980s. Back then, artists like Jenny Holzer or Matt Mullican began experimenting with the new medium. However, the high computing power needed to produce VR art was only possible using relatively complex and unwieldy hardware. VR art is only now experiencing a major upswing due to a series of developments: a new generation of easy-to-use VR glasses can display complex image worlds with high computing power, artists have easier access to programmers, and VR glasses have already arrived in the living rooms of some viewers via gaming.