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VR experience: Eclipse by Ali Eslami & Mathilde Renault at Tetem

Text by CLOT Magazine

In a virtual world, how would new forms of (post) humans coexist? Artists Ali Eslami and Mathilde Renault invite the audience to an unprecedented human interaction and social experience in their new Virtual Reality exhibition Eclipse that they have developed for Tetem in the Netherlands. Eclipse is a hybrid and interactive exhibition that you can experience both physically in Tetem and online. It offers participants a shared experience where they discover the extent of their physicality and the result of their interaction with one another.

Through Virtual Reality, the exhibition explores radically new ways of cohabitation by erasing the barriers of language, geography, and social hierarchy. While technological developments serve more and more commercial interests, Eclipse suggests rethinking digital spaces. Whether you participate hands-on or observe, you will reflect on the fabric of our lived reality.

Inside the physical space in Tetem, visitors can choose which entity in VR they want to embody: Alless, a being who leans towards order, creates spaces and tools with a tendency to counter his emotions or Lena, a fluid form inclined to chaos who controls natural forces and dynamics of events. Although these two characters can’t see each other, as they move through different levels of consciousness, they can find traces of each other’s presence that allow them to decipher the other being’s inner space.

Visitors can also choose to be a third form of an agency called Birds, both in the exhibition space and online, using Twitch. Birds can observe and interact with the VR characters Alless and Lena by leaving traces and messages to both characters. The Bird view provides users with a wider perspective on the reality of ‘False Mirror’ while allowing them to navigate within this world freely.

Ali Eslami is a Virtual Reality artist whose works in interactive experiences question the restraints of physical space, time and body while articulating possible futures. Mathilde Renault is a visual artist whose works investigate and speculate upon remote geographies through sensory experiences.

The exhibition is developed within Tetem’s program theme Society 5.1 and the underlying chapter Aesthetic Paradoxes. Tetem investigates, together with artists, the role of aesthetics and imagination in the design of technologies and the acceptance of new technologies and ideologies.

Eclipse can be seen until 30 January 2022.

(Media courtesy of Tetem)
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