A virtual Utopia. The area comes alive

A virtual Utopia.  The area comes alive



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Art is one of the driving forces of our society when it comes to designing and testing utopias. We want to make use of the potential that art has when it comes to bodily encounter. The opening exhibition of the Area for Virtual Art “A Virtual Utopia” explores the question of how body-bound our communication is and how we can conquer the metaverse and use it for our needs as an artist community and as a society.

The strongest motivations to create the Area of Virtual Art were to acquire new spaces in order to give art visibility and reach an international audience again. To achieve self-efficacy in a time that has made it so difficult to cross borders.

The digital can be understood as a laboratory in which we can generate new experiences and experiment with our ideas of reality. The artistic and playful handling of space and of ourselves as avatars poses a challenge to our self-image, our own identity construction.

What happens when communication moves completely online? In which world will we meet? And how will we interact with others?

The Area for Virtual Art makes it possible to teleport from world to world and rediscover new places together with others. The avatar as an embodiment of the self is another important pillar of these virtual worlds, it draws us into the stories and allows us to experience the space subjectively. As abstract, gender-unclassifiable yet personalized AVAtars – the Area’s avatars – we move through these landscapes and cities, can physically experience artworks, installations and virtual architecture, and create collaborative experiences through the possibility of immediate communication.




The Transient Shadows
Web Virtual Reality Experience, Virtual Sculpture
Vienna, 2020



The Austrian duo Depart was founded in 1999 by Leonhard Lass and Gregor Ladenhauf. Deeply rooted in the digital, their approach to multimedia creates unique moments characterized by a formally rigorous and profound aesthetic. A combination of precision and emotion leads to a multifaceted and abstract whole, which reflects fragments of the audience’s own experience. Depart’s works are sometimes mysterious, often deliberately dark and dazzling, containing a highly concentrated mixture of virtual mechanics, poetic moments and hermetic symbolism. They move between text, image and sound and span from interactive installations and net-based applications to expansive performances and A/V live shows.

“The Transient Shadows” was created by DEPART for the 2020 Ars Electronica Festival in Linz and is now adapted for the Area for Virtual Art as a virtual web experience.
When DEPART were invited by the University of the Arts to create an audiovisual artwork for the main square in Linz, they were inspired to take a closer look at the 18th-century Baroque plague column.
With this new artwork they want to address several topics in light of the state of the world in 2020, i.e. a virus that mainly manifests itself as a respiratory disease, but also the fleetingness of human life per se and how to deal with it in times of plague or pandemics. At the same time, “The Transient Shadows” recalls the history of the industrial city of Linz and modern developments in technology such as cloud computing.
The plague column with its bulbous shapes resembles a column of smoke solidified in time. The audiovisual sculpture oscillates and behaves like a breathing circuit, just ike a lung it expands and collapses while forming lithoidal structures and fractal entities. The constant visual paradoxes of ephemeral substances looking like heavy solids and the fluid movement of apparently rigid bodies result in a micro-dramaturgy about a kind of abstract evolutionary struggle.



Martina Menegon
all alone, together
Web Virtual Reality Experience, Virtual Sculpture
Vienna, 2020



Martina Menegon (Italy, 1988) is an artist working with Interactive and Mixed Reality Art to create intimate and complex assemblages of physical and virtual elements, that explore the contemporary self and its synthetic corporeality. She is currently teaching “Digital Design and Virtuality” at the department of Transmedial Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and regularly collaborates with Klaus Obermaier and Stefano D’Alessio teaching multimedia tools for interactive arts at the IUAV University in Venice. In 2019 she is created /afk: together with Shahab Nedaei, and curated Mixed Reality Art Exhibitions in Vienna. She currently lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

“all alone, together” shows virtual clones of the artist’s 3D-scanned body, constrained in a dense formation resulting from an algorithmical anomaly. Their perpetual torture constantly shifts between ecstasy and anxiety. Since the existence of the cyberspace, there is an obsession with the redefinition of the self as well as an anxiety about body and identity boundaries. We are facing a new experience of corporeality and subjectivity, a new artificial flesh and materiality. Through these perceivable avatars, the artist proprioceptively renegotiates the fragility of both the physical and the virtual bodies and selves, reflecting on today’s situation in which we might fell all alone, together.




Marlene Kager & Maximilian Prag
Virtual Reality Experience (VR application, download)
3D Model
Vienna, 2020

yanchi Download


The two designers Marlene Kager & Maximilian Prague got to know each other during their studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and soon began working together, complementing each other with specializations in various fields. “We teamed up being super inspired by each other’s fields of interest and worship the crazy ideas the both of us have.”, the duo reflects. During her studies in graphic design Marlene focused on experimental type, being inspired by magazines, and evolved a very unique style and her love for letters. Maximilian on the other hand immersed himself in experimentation with extended and digital realities, experimenting with failure and their unpredictable outcome and playing with a strong contrast between natural and artificial or computer-generated imagery in a still somewhat intertwined manner.

“yanchi” is a first person player experience navigating a hybrid virtual club injected with digital art and music experiences. The player gets to discover the world at their own pace and is invited to linger and listen to mixes that are embedded into each stage constructed respectively to the musician’s vision.
The virtual festival space  is constructed around stages hosting mixes by Fauna, ID Klang, Bushra and Tony Renaissance. Additionally, it shows artworks by Valentino Skarwan, Marlene Jonane and Andreas Palfinger. The project is set to be updated and extended with more artists to follow.

“yanchi” is available for download on Mac and Windows and can be installed locally.
Learn how to use it by looking at the instructions part and find out more about it here.




Elena Romenkova
beyond the mind
Web Virtual Reality Experience, Virtual Sculpture
Vienna, 2020



Elena Romenkova is a digital artist from St Petersburg, currently based in Vienna. Experimenting with the human form and glitch art through animation, Romenkova’s work explores the relationship between man and machine. She graduated from the University of A. Herzen with a degree in Fine Arts and has participated in art exhibitions in Russia and abroad since 2004.

With a melange of glitch sculptures and rendered surrealistic images, the virtual space “beyond the mind” represents a transitional state between dream and reality that comes from the unconscious. Shapes and colors are not only aspects of beauty, they also have an inner sense and meanings that are understandable on an unconscious level.
Human bodies are transformed and modified here by various 3D modeling methods or data manipulation (glitching). Glitching techniques always bring unpredictable results. These shape transformations give 3D sculptures a new aesthetic and meaning. The digital world absorbs all sides of human activity, where a person can have a different face, a different life. It also changes the mind and the state of the psyche.




Enrico Zago
…And When I woke Up My Eyes Were Dazzles And My Ears Screeches In The Noontide…
Web Virtual Reality Experience, Virtual Sculpture
Vienna, 2020



Zago Enrico lives and works in Vienna. His research is focused on new media and illustrations, and his works are mainly prints, animations and VR installations. In the last years he is creating works that involve 2d and 3d design in order to investigate the perception of the real physical environment into its digital representations and deformations in speculative scenarios. He attend at die Angewandte University at Digitale Kunst department and he graduated with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts at IUAV University of Venice in 2010 and graduate at The New Normal multidisciplinary postgraduate research programme at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow in 2017.

The 360° video ”..And When I woke Up My Eyes Were Dazzles And My Ears Screeches In The Noontide…” critically examines how new technologies exponentially and constantly colonize everyday life. In a world where the human being changes its own social role from civil/citizen to consumer/user, the boundaries are blurring. The populist call of duty is changing in terms of appearance, focusing more on a hyper-normalization of the individual and pushing towards a super-consciousness built from countless clusters of data; all this useful data is collected and stored on devices defined by their controlled evolutionary path.
In this reality, new escapist strategies emerge, technologies offer the possibility to run (or rather … look) away from mass taming and to experience a personal space.




consistent 22222
ambient sound
Vienna, 2020



Wandl is a progressive Austrian producer, musician, and vocalist.
Socialized by hip-hop and obsessed with the guitar, he soon pursues his own musical vision. Moving to Vienna after high school he connects with the label and artist collective Affine Records. Following a theatre engagement in Hamburg, his official debut solo album “It’s All Good Tho” is released in 2017. Electronic-psychedelic melodies meet organic sound, and sounds are scrambled and obscured: samples, piano recordings, drums and synthesizer. The analog sound aesthetics and Wandl’s characteristic voice act as the connecting element. The Musikexpress magazine ranks the album at number 4 of the “Albums of the Year 2017,” and Wandl performs internationally in France, the Netherlands, and Spain at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, among others. This is followed by an extensive tour with Bilderbuch in Germany (2018) and several artistic projects (2019).





Martina Menegon
Marlene Kager & Maximilian Prag
Elena Romenkova
Enrico Zago
Riepl&Riepl Architects


Musicvideo Channel in mozilla hubs

Link to the Music Channel here.
Link to mozilla hubs here.



exhibition space in Unity created by Maximilian Prag
exhibition space in mozilla hubs created by Martina Menegon / Enrico Zago
graphic design by Marlene Kager and Maximilian Prag


Wien Kultur
Vienna Business Agency (Creatives for Vienna)


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