I’m in a space called vertigo
In the exhibition ‘Birdland’ by Faysal Mroueh, we have the chance to enter an environment which is extended in the virtual, since the experience of viewership is also activated through five VR headsets that grant access to another five environments. What connects all environments is a sense of mystery and the construction of fictions as a method of immersion. Upon removing the glasses, many visitors report a sense of disorientation and vertigo. We are, therefore, confronted with a peculiar exhibition form, one that invites new theories on modes of spectatorship that deal with the experience of slipping between environments, with that we move with the eye within what the mind recognizes as depth whilst we are standing still, but also with the feeling of being onlookers of bodies that exist as if cut off from the physical space and who thus cannot acknowledge our presence.
The two-hour workshop/participatory action aims at including all participants in an extended exchange of ideas and reflections exploring questions around virtual reality and fiction, and the processes of becoming physiologically habituated to the spatiotemporal augmentations created by technology in the era when the experimental stage of its understanding has passed and its full integration into everyday life is well underway.
The workshop starts with a presentation of the exhibition ‘Birdland’ by the artist Faysal Mroueh and continues with a roundtable discussion with all participants being active agents, having access and contributing to its live documentation process via a shared online document. The exercise aims to create a space of reciprocal recognition, exploring the notions of virtuality and augmentation as an extended arena of experience that poses novel questions on modes of spectatorship and entertainment production and consumption.