CUBE | VIRTUAL NATIVES, sculpture


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Gallery Roehrs & Boetsch announced the inaugural exhibition ‘Virtual Natives – Sculpture’ in its new virtual gallery for virtual art: CUBE. Participating artists: Banz & Bowinkel, Martina Menegon, Chiara Passa, Manuel Rossner and Theo Triantafyllidis.
Curated by Nina Roehrs, Opening: 16 January 2019 | 6 – 9 pm | Bachstrasse 9, 8038 Zurich
Website: http://www.roehrsboetsch.com/r-b-cube/

“Alongside its physical space in Zurich, Roehrs & Boetsch is opening a virtual gallery for virtual art – CUBE.
The rapid development of computer, network and virtual reality technologies is prompting artists to make increasing use of these also as artistic media. At the same time, the characteristics of digital and virtual artworks – such as overcoming gravity – are calling for innovative, more targeted modes of presentation.

CUBE is a virtual reality platform, which simulates a virtual gallery for virtual art. New virtual reality architectures such as CUBE are the logical environment for digital and virtual art, especially three-dimensional art. With that in mind, CUBE is primarily intended for digital and virtual artworks with no physical prototype for which a faithful realization in the physical world fails or seems illogical.
CUBE serves as a testing ground not only for new digital and virtual artworks, but also for virtual modes of presentation. Roehrs & Boetsch sees CUBE as the incubator for a development process that is still in its infancy, one which will spring from the interplay between artistic creativity and growing expertise in the field of virtual reality coupled with new technological possibilities.
Using VR glasses (Vive), visitors enter the virtual gallery building where they embark upon an immersive, self-guided tour. Visitors use a controller to move through the gallery space, extending over five floors, each floor exhibiting different virtual artworks. Visitors can approach the artworks, walk around them and view them from different angles. Some works can be experienced through sound, and others are even interactive. The pioneer project CUBE combines exhibition space and art to form an integrated virtual reality while also allowing individual virtual artworks to be arranged in direct juxtaposition, reflecting the typical exhibition setting in the physical world.
This new exhibition concept is the brainchild of gallery owner Nina Röhrs, while artist Manuel Rossner was commissioned with artistic design of the architecture and technical realization of the project. Together, they developed CUBE over the course of one year.
On 16 January 2019 CUBE will open at the gallery in Zurich with an inaugural group exhibition on sculpture. Curated by Nina Röhrs, the group exhibition ‘Virtual Natives – Sculpture’ presents the artists Banz & Bowinkel, Martina Menegon, Chiara Passa, Manuel Rossner and Theo Triantafyllidis, featuring sculptural works either created especially for this exhibition or developed further in view of the new exhibition options offered by CUBE. Further exhibitions will follow.”

Press Release by Roehrs & Bosch Gallery

For further information on the exhibition and press materials, please contact Elena Kuznik at the gallery (press@roehrsboetsch.com, T +41 43 539 56 74).

Roehrs & Boetsch, founded in 2016, is a Zurich gallery for contemporary art. In recent years, rapid technological progress and increasing digitalisation have not only had a major impact on contemporary society as a whole, but have also influenced the arts by greatly expanding the variety of media available and introducing new topics. Given the shifting landscape of the art world in recent years, Roehrs & Boetsch is the first and to date only art gallery in Switzerland to devote its programme to exploring digitalisation and its implications for society. By working very closely with emerging as well as established artists, our exhibitions explore and critically reflect the relationship between contemporary culture, digitalisation and art in a range of media and techniques. Furthermore, as an art gallery, Roehrs & Boetsch takes great interest in actively discussing and developing new forms of exhibiting artworks where conventional methods have failed. The virtual reality platform CUBE is a prime example of this.

Manuel Rossner (1989, Heilbronn, Germany) frequently uses his virtual reality works to explore the blurred boundaries between physical and virtual reality. His artworks range from installative virtual sculptures that replicate, penetrate or transform a virtual copy of the original physical architecture, or virtual extensions to an existing museum building. Rossner tests our understanding of reality, architecture and exhibition space by creating meaningful connections in virtual reality – often in a playful manner. Rossner is the founder, developer and curator of ‘Float Gallery‘ (2012), a virtual internet platform for digital art that can be replicated through a variety of media. Alongside his artistic work, he explores the social flipside of technological progress, for example by means of his commitment to causes such as unconditional basic income. Via initiatives like ‘Internet TBD‘ or ‘The Post-Binary‘, he also makes an active contribution to the critical debate on defining technological developments of the future such as artificial intelligence. His works have most recently been exhibited by KM– Graz, Frankfurter Kunstverein, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, INFRA Festival Tokyo and 1822-Forum Frankfurt.