T+T (Tamiko Thiel + Teresa Reuter)
Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall, 2008/19
VR experience for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
In 2019 it is 30 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and most people alive have never encountered it in real life. This artwork recreates a kilometer-long section of the Wall and its surrounding neighborhoods in East and West Berlin, depicting the radical changes made over the 28 years of its existence. Exploring the virtual space, users’ own movements and actions trigger dramatic encounters with events spanning this time, from the 1960s to the 2000s. In West Berlin users can tour the colorful graffiti on the West Wall and hear stories of past events; in East Berlin there is a hushed silence and users find that approaching the Wall and its checkpoints can have severe consequences. Users are protagonists in a surrealist dream – not as all-powerful border guards, but in the role of normal Berlin residents living “in the shadow of the Wall.”
The artwork itself focuses on an affective encounter with the Wall. Supplementary materials are available with detailed descriptions of the Wall and a historical chronology. The installation was developed in close collaboration with the Berlin Wall Memorial Concept of the Berlin Senate, and partially funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Berlin Capital City Cultural Funds). In its original version as an interactive monoscopic large screen projection it was awarded the Grand Prize of the 2009 IBM Innovation Award in Art and Technology, given by the Boston Cyberarts Festival.
2008 (interactive monoscopic large screen projection)
2019 (Oculus Rift or HTC Vive stereo VR headset)
Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Berlin Capital City Cultural Funds) - primary financial sponsor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS)
Bitmanagement Software GmbH
A documentation of this artwork can also be found on ADA:
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The principles of the artist team T+T are:
Tamiko Thiel, an American VR (virtual reality) artist, internationally known for her use of VR technology to create socially critical artworks since 1994.
Teresa Reuter, a Berlin architect and 3D artist with metroGap–Association for Urban Theory and Practice, whose work is strongly influenced by years of experience living with the Wall and dealing with the urban development of Berlin since the fall of the Wall.
If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.