Theatrum Radix, 2022
VR experience for OCULUS RIFT
Theatrum Radix combines systems of categorization used in natural history with contemporary technologies such as CT scans and 3D modeling. In the virtual space, natural objects are turned into new, surreal, moving pictures and supplemented by artworks. Viewers literally immerse themselves inside of bones, or a glass brain, or in the interior life of a dissected frog. Boundaries between the types of animals and plants are dissolved, creating a speculative outline dealing with habitats and systems of order.
This allows viewers to change perspective. They find themselves at a remove from the human, anthropocentric perspective, and the systems it uses to categorize nature. The title can be traced back to a seventeenth century Italian philosopher, Guilio Camillo, and his Theater of Memory. Camillo planned a theater in which he could unite knowledge of the world and of the universe, like an encyclopedia. Theatrum Radix picks up on this idea and creates a hybrid universe oscillating between the physical world and virtual space. It opens up a playful, interconnected view of objects, instead of reproducing order as a hierarchical concept. Theatrum Radix is divided into seven chapters; each one is assigned an object. The chapters describe both human made and natural processes that play an essential role in dealing with natural orders. The objects are based on natural science models and the artist’s own speculations.
Directed by | screenplay by Marlene Bart
Produced as a cooperation of Marlene Bart, Ikonospace founder Joris
Demnard and 3D Artist Manuel Farre
Music by Daniel Benyamin
Duration: 17:34 min.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Marlene Bart works at the intersection of natural history, anatomy, and the visual arts. She combines scientific and artistic images to create a new visual language. To what extent does this common visual language make it possible to rethink systems of order in the natural sciences? Here, Bart’s research is also artistic—how can the human relationship to these categories be influenced and even altered by virtual reality, or VR. Using a variety of techniques (prints, artists’ books, sculptures, installations, VR), she shifts historical books and other evidence into a contemporary context. Marlene Bart studied the visual arts under Professor Wolfgang Ellenrieder at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig (HBK), at Villa Arson (École nationale supérieure d‘art) in Nice and at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She has a master’s degree in “Art in Context” from the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK) and completed her doctorate at the Bauhaus University in Weimar (BUW) on the subject of „The artist‘s book as a multimedia encyclopaedia“. Marlene Bart lives and works in Berlin.
If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.