The moving image has always subsisted on illusions and these reach a new height in the world of virtual reality. VR is the technological innovation of recent years. And it is more than just a gimmick involving bits and bytes and a quasi-accessible reality: virtual realities lead us to rethink familiar concepts and question our perceptions.
For the second time DOK Neuland will be opening its tent on the Market Square to Leipzig residents and professional visitors to exhibit six new interactive works. Two 360° films, two VR experiences, a web documentary and a scrolling graphic novel reveal alternative narrative forms, which this year address special cases of existential experiences of reality.
T)raumzwang (2016); Developer: Pascal Hanke
Sensory impressions can be imitated, misled, manipulated, amended and even decorated in the prettiest colours. Human perception, also, is always individual and situational. Certain mental illnesses cause hallucinations that lead to distant worlds. Marietta Ren developed the first scrollable graphic novel app in cooperation with the studio Small Bang. In "Phallaina" she impressively depicts the dream world of the female protagonist by means of parallax scrolling and moving images. Other illnesses tie you to places. In virtual reality both are possible: travelling and remaining within oneself. Pascal Hanke takes us into the restricted life of a man with anxiety disorders in the 360° documentary "T)raumzwang".
What happens if you meet your virtual self on a lonely island? This is the question that Nina Wesemann and Daniel Hengst explore in their VR installation "My Lonesome Hologram". "Notes on Blindness – Into Darkness" addresses questions about how the world of experience changes when the sense of sight fades. The theologian John Hull, who became blind in mid-career, traces his experience in a virtual reality by means of binaural sound and interactive 3D-animation.
Gaps of perception are a recurring theme in the DOK Neuland works. In "Life to Come 360°" Fouzi Louahem and Claudio Capanna give us a glimpse into a world that we have all experienced although we don't remember it: in a hospital bed we see the everyday world through the eyes of a newborn. “The Sandmine” ("Im Märkischen Sand") deals with gaps in the collective memory. Nina Mair, Matthias Neumann and Katalin Ambrus' animated web documentary unearths crimes committed by the Germans against Italian prisoners of war in 1943.
Sandmine ("Im Märkischen Sand") (2016); Developer: Nina Mair, Matthias Neumann, Katalin Ambrus
The DOK Neuland exhibition on Leipzig Market Square will be open to the public during the festival week, from Tuesday 1 November until Saturday 6 November, every day from 12 to 8pm. Festival director Leena Pasanen and Kay Meseberg from ARTE will be present at the opening for press representatives at 10:30 am on Tuesday. In addition the artists will be available to answer your questions in daily tours running between 3 and 4pm.
DOK Neuland is supported by ARTE.