Ars Electronica .ART Gallery x VR-All-Art Present: ConcreteHouse.art Virtual Exhibition

At .ART the mission is to support the artistic community, protect and strengthen its members’ digital identity, and generate value from art. We are continually fostering partnerships and developing new tools to serve as an activation agent to connect tech, art and finance – digitally, but on a human scale. We understand that looking at technology from the outside in, seeing the vast and intricate edifices whose edges we cannot possibly witness from our point of view, can feel disempowering and defeating. .ART aims to be the facilitator, a crane shifting and moving the architecture so that our community can employ its creativity at its fullest – even with the most obdurate of technologies. As such, the theme of Ars Electronica 2021, A New Digital Deal, resonates with the identity of .ART in a profound way.

For Ars Electronica 2021, .ART takes the opportunity to pull closer and inspect the vast and seemingly immovable architectures behind the landscapes we surround ourselves with. Building upon the overarching theme of the A New Digital Deal, our garden of CONCRETE exposes the monoliths and floes firmly fixing our gaze – lest we forget that slabs of concrete always begin as a liquid and malleable material before cementing into the structures that shape our world.

The Garden features selected partners, including Boston Arlekin Players Theatre’s new interactive experience directed by Igor Golyak and featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov (ZeroGravity.art), .ART’s artist in residence Medina Kasimova, and a selection of Art Schools. Through an open call, ConcreteHouse.art invites over a hundred artists to join the space for playful reflections on the creation of virtual environments. The Garden also presents a series of talks about performance and blockchain in art and gaming.

Above: Portrait of Nanny by Medina Kasimova, available here

The key concept is the ‘human scale’. How do we highlight the pliability of our digital surroundings when they are endlessly complex and all-encompassing? How do we keep in mind the different perceptions of reality as the structures we build meet a plethora of different eyes?  How do we inspect our digital landscapes when we are so immersed in them, taking them for granted, passing through on our daily commutes without another thought? After the pandemic called on us to quieten our day-to-day, forced us to take a step back and view things from a distance, we now find ourselves in a moment in time for re-evaluation. Before life begins to restart, now is the time to renovate.

After a demolition, we pick up the pieces to begin anew. Following the Second World War came a period of reconstruction, a time when people began to set their sights on the future and all the possibilities it would bring. Building on the foundations already laid by Modernism, creators were ready for life – ready to make space for daily activities, to make efficient use of what materials were available and affordable post-war, to celebrate existence using no more words than necessary. Out of these desires, brutalist architecture was born: large sweeping structures, sober and simple in build, and made with people’s use and necessities in mind.

Concrete, geometry and simple lines that expose the underlying frameworks of our constructs. Arising from a context that forces us to think about the future, the digital walls of ConcreteHouse.art accommodate a reflection of our current state of mind. It is at this point that we ask not what the digital can do for us, but what we can do for the digital. Ars Electronica’s own statement for 2021 reads as follows:

 

“having arrived in the third decade of the 21st century, that is, at a time when we’ve been promised self-driving cars, flying taxis, global prosperity and much more, when we’ve either wished for them or been afraid of all that, at a time when the discourse about digital transformation is louder but also more confused than ever before, it’s time to rethink the foundations of the digital world – or what we believe the digital world to be.” 

Taking these concepts revolving around architecture, malleability and responsibility, .ART presents a selection of mixed VR and AR artworks that offer possible roadmaps towards levelling the playing field.  

Exhibition dates: 8th – 23rd September 2021, accessed via ConcreteHouse.art on opening day.

List of participating artists

We also are holding two panel talks – these are free to attend, you can register via the links below.  

Title: ConcreteHouse.art – Welcome to the Exhibition 

Moderator: Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, .ART Head of Partnerships 

Speakers:  

Yana Kuzmina – Digital Marketing Director at .ART 

Alexey Severin – 3D, VR and AR artist 

Igor Golyak – Artistic Director of Arlekin Players Theatre 

Anica Zivaljevic – Curator, VR-All-Art 

Date & Time: 09/09/2021 16:00 – 17h15 CEST 

Register here

Title: Creators Economy: Unlocking the NFT potential 

Moderator: Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, .ART Head of Partnerships 

Speakers:  

Ulvi Kasimov – .ART Founder

Fabin Rasheed – Artist and Creative Technologist 

Vitomir Jevremovic – Founder VR-All-Art 

Date & Time: 09/09/2021 14:00 – 15h15 CEST 

Register here

.ART Team
.ART Team
members are global citizens with interests ranging from art history to social justice. If we had an office cat we would have called it Basquiat.