January 31 2017
“Artists’ VR” is a virtual reality exhibition in the form of a free mobile VR app for iOS and Android, featuring six commissioned works by leading artists: Peter Burr with Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Jeremy Couillard, Jayson Musson, Jon Rafman, Rachel Rossin, and Jacolby Satterwhite. A first-of-its-kind initiative, the exhibition explores possibilities for experimental animation in mobile virtual reality.
The six works range from fantastic original worlds to moving social commentary and include an astral memorial to victims of police violence (Musson); a guided meditation through landscapes taken from the game Call of Duty: Black Ops, drained of violence and transformed into an ethereal dreamworld (Rossin); a journey through a fantastical industrial nightclub (Satterwhite); a portrait of a woman navigating an unfolding labyrinth (Burr with Heartscape); a simulation of the afterlife (Couillard); and an unsettling dive into an alternate world rife with avatars both banal and magical (Rafman).1
The “Artists’ VR” app was developed by EEVO, a VR cloud services platform allows content creators to launch their own native VR applications across all hardware ecosystems. Founded in 2014, EEVO apps have featured content from Stan Lee, The Empathy Project, Nas, and others. Their collaboration with the New Museum and Rhizome seeks to elevate VR in an artistic context as a rich emerging medium whose possibilities are still being tested and harnessed.2
Established in 2012 and co-organized by the New Museum and Rhizome, First Look is a digital art commissioning and exhibition program representing the breadth of art online—from interactive documentary, to custom-built participatory applications, to moving image-based works, and art for mobile VR. Encompassing a substantial array of work that continues to expand, First Look explores the formal, social, and aesthetic possibilities of emerging technologies on the web.