The Dome: a virtual art tour

The virtual museum ‘The Dome’ opens last weekend with a combination of audio-visual artworks and performances. Accessible from any device, the virtual museum will be open 24/7 in alternative to Algoritmi Festival suspended because of COVID-19 emergency.

After The Circle virtual club, Algoritmi promotes a new interactive space for cultural production, educational workshops and social communities in collaboration with VR developer Enea Le Fons and graphic designer Jay ID. Curated by Karin Gavassa, the Dome is a virtual museum to experience digital art, live coding and electronic music completely conceived in, and for, virtual reality.

Opening with the show ‘When Code Becomes Art’, the group exhibition explores the creative side of digital techniques without limitations of physical space and materials. Roman artist Nesso presents ‘HyperGlass 2.00’, a VR installation in 3 interacting moving paintings. Imagining a painter brushing pixels on the screen, the artist portrays how sound and lights behave through a glass investigating how humans interpret and relate to reality on diverse levels. On the opposite virtual wall, ‘Truth of the Universe’ by Japanese artist Toshikazu JaySon Toyama is a projection interpreting the truth of the universe as a perpetual circulation and movement of things.

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Nesso (Francesco Corvi) – HyperGlass 2.00

Last but not least, Franz Rosati captures with ‘Hyletics’ an immaterial and borderless landscape, in which sound and images challenge the prevailing idea of territory and the authoritarian concept of maps and borders. In another room, the artist presents a series of digital synesthetic sculptures depicting a virtual organic being trapped in an aseptic world.

Franz Rosati – Machine/Structure (SKL001)

Among the artworks, visitors could virtually enjoy live performances and VR Holographic DJ Set. Dutch creative coder Timo Hoogland inaugurates the opening night, while last Monday DJ Graham Neil Dunning opens the new space #ALGO24-7 Floors. Combining live performances to audio-visual artworks, the exhibition focuses on the creative side of coding and computational practices. Accessible to all, visitors can interact and visit the museum as an avatar while staying home.

Timo Hoogland x Algo:ritmi – Opening night (extract)

While museums and galleries are carefully thinking about re-opening and how to deal with social distancing in public spaces, The Dome museum is an alternative example to present digital art and interacting performances online. Rather than replacing a physical space, The Dome is a cultural hub where artists can play with computational practices and visitors can interact in real-time. Especially in these times of social isolation, the exhibition is an inspiration to become more familiar with digital practices and to engage new technologies in more creative and proactive terms.

The Circle Virtual Club: alternative distractions from quarantine!

On Monday night, Algo:ritmi presented The Circle Virtual Club with live performances by Enea Le Fons, electronic project Alienated Entity and live coders Olbos and Nesso. While staying safe at home, people could ‘escape’ quarantine as an avatar to be part of this interactive event in live stream.

Algo:ritmi is a new project promoting audio-visual interdisciplinary meetings to explore the intersection between programming languages and art with live performances, interactive installations and electronic music sets. On the edge of institutional settings, the project is a space to explore the potential of coding practices through a creative and educational lens. Following the radical restrictions and change of habits to fight this current global emergency, Algo:ritmi opens an online space where to meet and discover new creative languages in between art and coding. Meeting every two weeks, musicians, live coders and DJs will come together to The Circle exploring new ways of presenting cultural events during this messy time.

Curated by Karin Gavassa, The Circle is a virtual club in which you can virtually participate enjoying live performances while safely staying at home. Login in, you could choose an avatar to interact not only with your friends and other people, but also actively explore the virtual environment. Once inside, you could wander around the virtual building, adding objects – like a huge Corinavirus or digital burgers – and taking pictures and virtual selfie, while enjoying music performance and lively discussion.

The virtual room was created on the online platform UXR.zone, which allows people across the world to create a virtual space and interact as avatars in real-time. Spin-off of the #30daysinVR challenge, UXR.zone is a platform to connect and decentralise social VR communication from different digital devices. Free from users tracking and advertisement, the platform was developed in 2018 by cybernaut and artist Enea Le Fons, who opened the first night with a VR Holographic Dj set. Right after, followed the electronic project from Paraguay Alienated Entity.

The first online session ended with two artists based in Rome, both active in the Live Coding and Algorave scene. Olbos presented Vortex_004, a live coding performance exploring the interaction between web textures, statistical variations and rhythms. Visual artist and sound designer Nesso closed the first night with Lamba Madness, improvising with sounds and visuals creating a system in continuous evolution.

As an avatar, anyone can be anonymous and participate from all over the world. Promoting a decentralised and privacy-focused approach to Virtual Presence, The Circle is an alternative space to freely interact with your friends and socialise with people from different places. During this unpredictable COVID-19 emergency, virtual clubbing becomes an alternative way to keep the connection with others while exploring new forms of art with programming languages. While social isolation is the only way to slow down this sanitary emergency, technology is not only an invisible bridge to stay connected to the rest of the world, but also an opportunity to explore the boundaries between art and coding.

In these times of uncertainty and change, live coding becomes a precious example to think of alternative ways to transform our daily habits playing with the creative potential of digital devices. Rather than a tool for efficiency and control, live coding explores computational logic as a space of encounter and exploration of something that is already deeply entangled with our daily habits, but that can still tell us something new.

Don’t miss out the next one!

Farnesina: Digital Art Experience

Farnesina: Digital Art Experience happened yesterday, promoted by Bright Festival in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and part of Videocittà programme. With lights, colours and visual tricks, 14 Italian studios transformed and rebuilt Farnesina palace with an interactive and dynamic performance of video mapping.

Initially, the imperial palace of Farnesina was meant to be the new Palazzo del Littorio, the main site of the Fascist Party as Benito Mussolini commanded. Already in 1940, the designated use of this imperial building was changed to become the Foreign Affairs Ministry, despite the frequent interruptions due to the war. When in 1959 the architects finalised the building curating any detail, the Foreign Affairs Ministry decided to play with art to highlight the intentions of change compared to its original scope.

Characterised by the contradictions and the beauty of Italian history, when the building became operative after the war,  Farnesina gathers up a variety of contemporary artworks to promote the creativity of Italian artists in the world, becoming one of the most interesting collections of contemporary Italian art. This time, rather than opening its doors, the façade of the palace becomes a huge canvas for 14 studios of video mapping to promote Italian digital artists. In collaboration with Bright Festival, yesterday night the project ‘Farnesina: Digital Art Experience’ surprised the audience with a game of lights, colours and visual tricks transforming and recreating the building.

Apparati Effimeri (Bologna) opens the performance with a Minerva holding the world in her hands, remembering to ‘stay human’ despite where you are in the world. If Antaless Visual Design (Palermo) melts the architecture with a dynamic construction and deconstruction of lights and pixels, Antica Proietteria (Bologna) redesign the building with gold geometric shapes and glitter recalling Italian factory style. FLxER (Rome) begins with tiny particles of lights becoming white lines playing not only with the architecture but also with the history of the place, ending with ‘NO BORDERS’ to remind the importance of being open and connected with other cultures.

Kanaka (Milan) enlightens the window of the building creating a wave effect, while Luca Agagni Studio captures the building with particles of rainbow lights creating new forms. Michele Pusceddu (Cagliari) plays with coloured lights transforming in two women coming together, highlighting the importance of the encounter and dialogue. Monogrid (Florence) gives life to the buildings playing with geometric constructions, and Mou Factory (Cremona) combines the architecture with visual tricks.

OLO Creative Farm (Como) starts with a light ball to take over the building, and OoopStudio (Reggio Emilia) plays with the force of nature which recreates the building remembering the importance of the environment in our life. Pixel Shapes (Ragusa) plays with chemistry to highlight the connection between the tiniest particle and the most remote planet, while WÖA (Milan) highlights the importance of understanding what bytes of data are asking ‘how much inattention can you afford?’. The Fake Factory (Florence) ends the performance transforming the architecture in a waterfall of lights and bricks.

The performance is a contest to select three works that will be presented by Bright Festival 2020, a Florence-based event promoting digital creative explorations since 2018. After the Festival, the artists will be part of a group exhibition travelling in six cities across the world between 2010 and 2021. This performance was not only a moment to promote Italian digital art, but also to create a space of gathering and encounter in one of the most significant places of our history. While we keep forgetting that we are not only made out of our past, this performance remembers us the infinite possibility of this contemporary and messy time – and how we can be part of it by interacting with its changes and evolutions, rather than demystifying the future hiding behind its complexity.