Patricia Detmering, Armin Keplinger & Tamiko Thiel at synthesis gallery, Berlin
On view for immersiVR:
September 28th, 2020 – February 20 th, 2021

‘There is nothing that man fears more than the touch of the unknown. He wants to see what is reaching towards him, and to be able to recognize or at least classify it. Man always tends to avoid physical contact with anything strange.’ Elias Canetti

The exhibition “Unchartered Territories” – Synthesis’ first on headset for immersiVR – features a group of artists whose work engages with physical and metaphysical spaces, as well as with issues of integration, identity, and place. The “Unchartered Territories” is Elias Canetti’s inspired playground. The so-called Land of Cloud. A thin Moon strip. Territories yet to be discovered, lands of exploration and social experimentation.

Patricia Detmering – Aporia II, 2020


APORIA is a virtual world that speculates on the sociological processes behind open and closed societies. The work took inspiration from ‘Crowds and Power’ by Elias Canetti. The behavioural dynamics elaborated in the book are reproduced by the 60 individuals in the VR experience. They inhabit the world of APORIA as human avatars, moving and acting randomly according to artificial intelligence algorithms. APORIA’s residents can take decisions and actions on their own as they explore the surrounding environment. Some of them act close-minded, privileging to build walls and following a strong order principle. The other half is more tolerant, moving freely and unrestrictedly. Every one of them follows his own daily routine, until a disturbing factor is randomly introduced. Another human avatar unknown to the others, a stranger. The response by the residents of APORIA may differ. Groups are formed and dispersed. Leaders are appointed and released. The social dynamics coming into play becomes now the central focus of the work.

Patricia Detmering – Aporia II, 2020

Armin Keplinger
(b. 1982, AUT) merges virtual and physical space in ms-R. The artwork features a moon-sliced ring with zero latitude. Inspired by the striking images of the Apollo 13 mission, Keplinger’s artistic effort is aimed at building a bridge between the moon’s historically changing surface and his fascination for ever-changing physical sculpture surfaces. As the ring moves slowly in a circle around the participant’s view with subtle light and movements, ‘ms-R’ aims to send the viewer on a journey to void-dark spaces. In his physical and virtual sculptures, Keplinger is inspired by American minimalism and its European precursors, including landmark figures such as Richard Serra, Donald Judd and Josef Albers.

ms_R 2019 V – copyright Armin Keplinger

VR/AR pioneer Tamiko Thiel (b. 1957, USA), in her work Land of Cloud takes the viewer on a journey beyond space and time. That is where the Land of Cloud can be found. The Land of Cloud is a magnificent garden whose inhabitants are silent and communicate with each other only through splendid, yet strange, cloud mirrors. They are in constant contact with their deity: ‘The Cloud’. They do not look at you. They do not look at anything but their devices, standing motionless. Each of them susurrates and repeats their own mantra, given by the Cloud Deity. This is what the viewer hears as she stands next to them. The mantras are taken from the Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump 2016 US election campaign, when it seemed to Thiel that national and personal dialogs with others had ceased and each focused only on their own small media bubble.

Land of Cloud IV, Tilt Brush Virtual Reality, Tamiko Thiel, 2018 copyright Tamiko Thiel

synthesis gallery is the leading VR-based art gallery: an immersive blend of technology and art displayed under one roof, showcasing cutting-edge experiences by new wave artists and visionaries through virtual reality. Founded in New York in October 2017 by George Vitale, the gallery opened its doors to the public in April 2018 in Berlin. Pieces are displayed through different media. Tangible and traditional art forms intermingle with Oculus and Vive headsets. Dedicated to exhibiting internationally renowned, well-established artists alongside emerging ones, since its inception, synthesis has garnered considerable attention in the art scene.

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