Imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual – Exhibition Review

The exhibition ‘Imagine: A Journey into The New Virtual’ presents a freeze frame in the constant evolution of virtual space design. It showcases visionary designs and fictional scenarios for architecture and urban planning that can be imagined and distributed beyond the limitations of the real world. The exhibition brings together projects from a new generation of imaginative creators, who are not only from the field of architecture, but a range of backgrounds and disciplines, including landscape design, interior and product design, urban planning, visual arts, game design, and film.

The exhibition is divided into four overlapping sections, each presenting common threads within The New Virtual. The first section, ‘Speculative Narratives and Worldbuilding’, focuses on storytelling through film, VR, and games, offering critical, optimistic as well as provocative visions of the future. The second section, ‘Research Investigations’, looks at how data and 3D modeling can serve as research tools to investigate historical artifacts and develop narratives critical of predominant Western colonial attitudes, particularly with regard to digital data and virtual spaces. The third section, ‘Dreamscapes’, presents hyper-realistic renderings of utopian spaces and surreal landscapes that often go viral on social media. The final section, ‘AI and Algorithmic Variation’, showcases projects that expand the use of AI and algorithms beyond formalistic exploration, offering an ecological perspective or a communal approach.

The exhibition features critical, interactive, participatory, playable, and hyper-realistic works from younger generations in a variety of media, such as renderings, CGI visualizations, 3D animations and prints, digital films, and virtual reality, as well as blockchain projects and video games. It includes several newly commissioned and recent works that are being shown for the first time in a museum.

The exhibition is curated by Bika Rebek, Architect and Principal, Some Place Studio, and Marlies Wirth, Curator Digital Culture and MAK Design Collection. The exhibition design is by Some Place Studio, and the graphic design is by Process—Studio for Art and Design.

The exhibition is being held at MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, and will be open to the public from October 20, 2021, to February 27, 2022.

Source: e-flux

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