Running unill December 16th 2017, Seventeen Gallery in Dalston London is exhibiting David Blandy’s The End of the World art exhibition. Comprising of three video installations and a new series of photographs, it focuses on his relationship to technology and memory, speculation about armageddon and a loss of connection to the server. The part of the exhibition that focuses on technology and memory is a virtual reality (VR) experience that makes use of the HTC Vive and a 360° film.
Most recently HTC Vive’s Vive Arts Program has been introducing both artists and art lovers to the world of VR. Starting in 2016, HTC Vive partnered with the London’s Royal Academy of Arts with the Virtually Real exhibition where contemporary artists were invited to experiment and create VR art pieces which then proceeded to be 3D printed. Vive Arts are now working together with Taiper’s National Palace Museum, the French National Museum of Natural History, St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and most recently with Tate Modern on their Modigliani’s exhibition.
Although both Blandy and Seventeen Gallery are not partnered with HTC Vive, it’s still a demonstration of how artists are making use of VR to immerse their audience into their worlds. VRFocus‘ Nina Salomons explores the exhibition with Dieu Nguyen to see how VR fits into The End of the World art exhibition, experiencing The Archive a five minute 360° film that puts viewers inside the Hans Tasiemka Archive. This archive is run by 94-year old Edda Tasiemka from a 1920s semi-detached house in Golders Green, London. The collection holds hundreds of thousands of data and information from newspaper cuttings that are categorised from diverse subjects such as ‘Isis’ and the ‘Kardashians’. Blandy used VR to bring the viewer into the centre of the Hans Tasiemka Archive in order to showcase the sprawling mess and obsolete accumulation of information which is overlaid by a rhythmic narration about memory and our ability to record knowledge. The VR film sits among cardboard boxes and a single channel video on a monitor that is a 2D version of the VR experience. The VR piece is among other individual parts of the exhibition which Salomons and Nguyen discuss, each coming out of it with different perceptions. What’s important to note is that although this is not a massive art exhibition like in the Royal Academy of Arts and Tate Modern, small independent exhibition such as these in trendy areas in London are introducing the possibility of VR to young art lovers. Even though it is only a 360° film with simple fades, it achieves the artist’s vision of bringing attendees into another world.
This video piece is not an interview but rather a discussion of the art exhibition itself, how the VR piece contributed to the exhibition as a whole. To experience The End of the World art exhibition yourself go to Seventeen Gallery on 270-276 Kingsland Road, London E8 4DG.
To find out more watch the video below.