DKB VR Art Prize

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Exhibition RESONANT REALITIES

The VR Art Exhibition "Resonant Realities" - took place from 16.04. - 04.07.2021 at the Haus am Lützowplatz in Berlin. The exhibition presented the works of the VR ART PRIZE grant recipients, Banz & Bowinkel, Evelyn Bencicova, Patricia Detmering, Armin Keplinger and Lauren Moffatt.

 

The artists create sculptures and paintings that defy the laws of physics and feature artificial intelligence as their protagonists. Their works reflect social dynamics and societal changes brought about by new technologies. Curated by VR art expert and artistic director Tina Sauerlaender, the exhibition embeds VR artworks in site-specific installations, thereby placing virtual reality into dialogue with physical space.

 

Each individual perceives the world through different lenses. Our personal views determine our impressions of our surroundings. Communication and exchange enable the possibility of encountering and understanding other outlooks. This act can be understood as a resonance of various realities. By putting one's own perspective in relation to another’s, it is possible to expand our own. In the best case, this process may create an open and empathetic coexistence within our society.

 

In the exhibition space, we interact with virtual reality artworks that here form a digital resonance of the physical world. We encounter virtual beings, observe interpersonal exchanges, and witness arrangements among artificial intelligence. The digital works resonate in the exhibition space in corresponding site-specific installations. The contrast between the physical and computer-generated worlds reveals the divergent parameters that apply to each location. Depending on the environment and one’s own viewpoint, the objects appear in variants and communication follows a different set of rules.

 

The artistic works reveal a deeper understanding of the digital realm and present technology as a human product which is inextricably linked to our values and norms. Our engagement with these works unlocks the possibility of questioning our relationship to culture, to our fellow human beings, and to the machines and technologies that surround us. This process consequently prompts a reexamination of our thoughts and actions.

 

 

Credits: Resonant Realities, Exhibition of the VR ART PRIZE by DKB in Cooperation
with CAA Berlin, curated by Tina Sauerlaender, Installations by Banz & Bowinkel, Evelyn
Bencicova, Patricia Detmering, Armin Keplinger & Lauren Moffatt, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, 2021, Photo
© J. Pegman

Resonant Realities Exhibition catalogue

About the VR ART PRIZE 2021

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 awarded 5 working grants to visual artists who work with virtual reality in 2020: each grant was for a period of 4 months and worth EUR 1,000 per month. As of 16 April 2021 the works of the winning artists have been shown at the exhibition 'Resonant Realities' at Haus am Lützowplatz (HaL) Berlin. 3 VR ART PRIZES have been granted, with a total endowment of EUR 12,000.

 

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

Artistic director Tina Sauerlaender

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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 2021

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 were: 

 

  • 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
  • Alexandra von Stosch, Co-Founder CAA Berlin / Director Art and Culture, Artprojekt Group, Berlin

5 Nominees for the VR ART PRIZE 2021

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Banz & Bowinkel

Giulia Bowinkel, together with Friedemann Banz, form the Berlin-based artist duo Banz & Bowinkel. In their work, Banz & Bowinkel focus on the computer as an everyday device and its influence on human culture. The focus here is on the perception of the world, which people understand as reality and is now simulated via the computer. With their work, Banz & Bowinkel question the concept of simulated reality and thereby human perception of the world in virtual space.

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EvelynBencicova

Evelyn Bencicova’s work is never quite what it first appears to be. Her photographs depict meticulously controlled compositions, characterised by an aesthetic sterility, tinged with poetic undertones of timeless desire and longing. Evelyn constructs compelling narrative scenarios that blur the lines between reality, memory, and imagination — ‘fiction based on truth’. Depicting multifaceted representations as illusions, Evelyn plays with the viewer’s perception to entice them into the labyrinth of her imagination. Her disturbingly beautiful visual language and washed-out colour palette, set within curiously symbolic environments, allow for a deep exploration of the themes that take her work and images far beyond what they reveal at first glance.

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PatriciaDetmering

Detmering combines personal memories with artistic apparatus and philosophical references to create complex media installations. She uses digital media like 3D animations and live simulations, often exhibited in immersive environments consisting of found objects, sculptures, painting, and drawings that are rendered opprobrious within the overall narrative of the installation. In her recent work she tries to blur the fine line between the digital and analog worlds by pushing both to the edge of dissolution. In her search for unknown narratives, she is currently working with virtual reality in combination with artificial intelligence.

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Armin Keplinger

Armin Keplinger works with digital image creation, video, and processual installations, as well as kinetic sculptures. He aims to unite audio and visual impulses to one strong immersive stream. Drastic shifts in form, material, time, and dimension and its power to change the perception of the viewers have always fascinated him. With ongoing affirmation, and the use of modern technology in the arts, virtual reality opens up a new stage to realise his ideas very quickly and effectively. As a digital tool that is not dependent of physical laws, it allows for a wide degree of freedom by the full control of light, movement, and scale.

In his artistic output he repetitively establishes dystopian and unsettling scenarios, as well as settings with the potential of obliteration - often with a reduced and minimalistic visual language  that creates a balance between abstraction and realism. Aside from a subconscious reflection of our time, Armin seeks to expose a sublime and monumental beauty that coexists in moments of annihilation. In its exaggerated depiction, he draws inspiration and power from menace - as long as it is experienced from a safe distance.

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LaurenMoffatt

Lauren Moffatt is an Australian artist working between video, performance and immersive technologies. She explores the invisible aspects of experience and makes them visible and tangible for visitors. In particular she is interested in the transferral of mental space (emotions, memories, imagination) into virtual space. This interest tends to come out as environments that can be inhabited and interacted with on various levels, and she likes to make narratives that occupy both physical and virtual space. Her detailed paradoxical worlds are often populated by misfits, strange devices and artefacts.

Winners of the VR ART PRIZE 2021

On the evening of May 7th 2021, the three winners of the VR ART PRIZE were announced at an award ceremony. The jury, consisting of Dr. Clara Meister (Curatorial Officer, Gropius Bau), Esther Schipper (Founder and CEO Galerie Esther Schipper), Daniel Völzke (Head of Online Editorial Monopol), Jan Walther (Member of the Board, Deutsche Kreditbank AG) and Dr. Marc Wellmann (Artistic Director, Haus am Lützowplatz), selected the three winners of the VR ART PRIZE from the five nominated artistic projects.


THE FIRST PRIZE OF 5.000€ WENT TO LAUREN MOFFATT, THE SECOND PRIZE OF 4.000€ TO PATRICIA DETMERING AND THE THIRD PRIZE OF 3.000€ TO ARMIN KEPLINGER.

 

Reasoning of the prize jury:

 

1ST PLACE
IMAGE TECHNOLOGY ECHOES by Lauren Moffatt captivates the viewer with her multi-layered
installation, an expert interplay between the physical exhibition space and the virtual world. The
ability to experience and immerse oneself in the Moffat’s characters, leads to a reflection on the
possibilities of VR as a medium, and beyond that, to a meditation on interpersonal communication
and individual world views.


2ND PLACE
APORIA by Patricia Detmering is a poetic work that creates an exciting and unexpected world
that stimulates the viewer‘s thoughts. The artist creates a resonant and immersive experience by
interweaving the virtual world composed of watercolors, with the staging in the exhibition space,
particularly through the use of the stone and the plastic chair on which one takes a seat.


3RD PLACE
Armin Keplinger uses a minimalist and stringent visual language to create THE ND-SERIAL.
A technically impressive and critical work, it not only addresses the notion of sculpture in physical
and virtual space, but also creates a dystopian and atmospheric environment that defies the laws
of physics.


DUE TO THE SPECIAL QUALITY OF THE NOMINATED PROJECTS, THE ARTISTS BANZ & BOWINKEL AND EVELYN BENCICOVA RECEIVED A MENTION FROM THE JURY AND ADDITIONAL FUNDING OF €2,500 EACH.


The artist Tobias Dostal designed a trophy especially for this award, which was presented to the three winners at the award ceremony.

VR ART PRIZE 2021 Shortlist

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

 

 

The winners of the working grants have been announced in September 2020. 

EXHIBITION PROGRAM 2021

The VR art exhibition "Resonant Realities" was accompanied by an extensive digital and analog program. You can watch here the curator's tour and talk with Lauren Moffatt.  Please switch to the German version for more content in German.