Virtual reality throughout re:publica 2017

Recently, we've seen technological developments that establish VR in many areas of our daily lives and potentially change our media and consumer habits. These developments can be seen in the product market and the race between numerous tech firms is setting a rapid pace. It's not just the arts and culture being affected by these developments. The topic of immersions, the desire by users to dive in and permeate content, has become a central focus for many disciplines.

The field of VR is creating a lot of excitement in terms of new hardware products, from cameras to VR goggles and full-on VR domes. The 360 degree viewing format is also gaining a foothold in content areas from numerous disciplines. Along with gaming, the potentials of VR have been discovered by music and fashion industry, science, health, film and journalism and are using the technologies in numerous ways

VR experiences in the "labore:tory"

Our new experimentation space "labore:tory" featured 3 days and 4 floors dedicated to the topic of VR. The labre:tory, in the Kühlhaus, became a learning lab open to all participants who coul try out and experiment with various VR recording equipment and technologies. Last year we have introduced this experimental space to focus on the intersection of culture, technology and society. While keeping this focus we expand the concept to incorporate VR, AR, games, video and art installations as well as workshops and a community corner, where social organisations will showcase their work and “Love Out Loud!” for refugees, diversity and against hate speech, for example.

The labore:tory programme:

Ground Floor:

Stage L1: Main stage of the labore:tory 

1. Floor:

Stage L2: A space that breaks the barrier speaker-audience.

Video Lounge: Chill, recharge and watch our selection of inspiring videos.

Catering Area

2. Floor:

"How Was School Today?” installation by Stuart Sheldon: An art installation looking at gun violence in the USA.

We Who Remain (VR): An immersive virtual reality film that takes the viewer into the heart of conflict in Sudan. The film weaves together the lives of four people – a student, a rebel soldier, a journalist, and a mother – who struggle to improve their lives in the midst of a relentless war.

WDR - Inside Auschwitz (VR): A virtual reality documentary telling the stories of three surviving women. This is the world's first 360 ° documentation about the concentration camp and shows the enormous dimensions of the extermination machinery with novel aerial photographs.

Notes on Blindness (VR): An award-winning virtual reality journey into a world beyond sight.

Alteration (VR): A sci-fi virtual reality film where Alexandro volunteers for an experiment carried out to study dreams… He can’t imagine that he will be subjected to the intrusion of Elsa, a form of Artificial Intelligence who aims to digitize his subconscious in order to feed off of it. She’s a vampire…bit by megabit.”

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Künstenforschung 360o: 360o dome projections by the Helmholtz-Zentrum

Auf Tauchstation: Das virtuelle Korallenriff (VR): An interactive virtual 3-D coral reef, in which you can dive in and meet the reef dwellers.

Coral Empathy Device: An interactive sculptural installation aiming to bridge the gap between the way humans and corals perceive the world around them.

DEEP (VR): A meditative VR game controlled by breathing.

Microsoft HoloLens: Demos of Microsoft HoloLens

Paintings by Stuart Sheldon: A series of paintings focusing on American society and politics.

3. Floor:

Mozilla Foundation (Monday only) - Workshops

Robot Petting Zoo powered by Sphero (Tuesday and Wednesday): Meet and play with a variety of robots including Star Wars’ BB-8!

Community Corner: A space where social organisations can meet people, host talks and speed dating sessions

New Dimensions – Virtual Reality Africa (VR): Four virtual reality experiences made in Africa: The Other Dakar, Nairobi Berries, Let This Be A Warning, Spirit Robot.

iAnimal - Animal Equality (VR): A unique immersive experience into the lives of farmed animals

VR Base (VR): Meet VRBASE, a curated incubator space in Amsterdam and Berlin focusing on helping virtual- and augmented reality startups and freelancers grow by providing them with a wide range of resources and making them part of our problem-solving community.

Motherboard: Motherboard’s Editorial Team will be based in the labore:tory for 3 days. Come along, meet them and take part

Naughty Corner: Experience the sassy side of LoveOutLoud through installations and a lot of play, featuring:

‘Viens!’ – A virtual reality erotic experience

‘Enter Me Tonight: Meeting in Virtual Reality’ - is a body of work, which questions the patronizing of human reproduction by patriarchal societies

‘BingOh!’ – Explore the great variety of nicknames for the vulva in a series of artistic drawings.

Photo credit: re:publica/Jan Michalko (CC BY 2.0)