Sandrine Deumier: „Realness – Intimate Garden“, 2019
  • Exhibition

Welcome to Heaven

  • NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
Image: Sandrine Deumier: „Realness – Intimate Garden“, 2019

The world is changing: the boundaries between synthetic and organic life, between civilisation and nature, between human and humanised technology are dissolving. On the one hand, we are currently experiencing catastrophic climate change, the spread of diseases across countries and continents, a threatening loss of biodiversity and extreme species decline, growing populism and right-wing terrorism. On the other hand, a new narrative is emerging: a technology that is quasi-religiously declared to be a saviour, a promise of a better world, a belief in artificial intelligence, immortality in digital space and a virtual paradise. Humans create new digital spaces for dreams and utopias. But the dream landscape can also become a nightmare. And new questions arise: How does technology change our consciousness, for example? What does it mean to be human – in emotional reaction and artistic expression?

Above all, we are still looking for extraordinary, absurd, comical or even impossible works that question society’s collective wishes and dreams and their transformation in the form of fears. Using various media (VR, AR, algorithmic art as well as videos and mixed media installations) the exhibition tries to turn to technologies as mystical shamanistic tools, to challenge the emotional state of the visitors and to rebel against techno-scepticism. “Welcome to Heaven” looks for dystopian and psychedelic works that fit into the narrative structure of the exhibition.

The exhibition project “Welcome to Heaven” is an experiment, an immersive and interactive staging. The NRW-Forum takes the visitors into a transmedia art trail on more than 1200 square meters, with art installations, video and music productions and virtual realities. The exhibition, situated between dystopia and utopia, takes visitors into fictional worlds, into a unique art experience with portals to magical worlds, full of fascinating works, surreal secret passages and mystical discoveries.

Participate

The world is changing: the boundaries between synthetic and organic life, between civilisation and nature, between human and humanised technology are dissolving. On the one hand, we are currently experiencing catastrophic climate change, the spread of diseases across countries and continents, a threatening loss of biodiversity and extreme species decline, growing populism and right-wing terrorism. On the other hand, a new narrative is emerging: a technology that is quasi-religiously declared to be a saviour, a promise of a better world, a belief in artificial intelligence, immortality in digital space and a virtual paradise. Humans create new digital spaces for dreams and utopias. But the dream landscape can also become a nightmare. And new questions arise: How does technology change our consciousness, for example? What does it mean to be human – in emotional reaction and artistic expression?

Above all, we are still looking for extraordinary, absurd, comical or even impossible works that question society’s collective wishes and dreams and their transformation in the form of fears. Using various media (VR, AR, algorithmic art as well as videos and mixed media installations) the exhibition tries to turn to technologies as mystical shamanistic tools, to challenge the emotional state of the visitors and to rebel against techno-scepticism. “Welcome to Heaven” looks for dystopian and psychedelic works that fit into the narrative structure of the exhibition.

The exhibition project “Welcome to Heaven” is an experiment, an immersive and interactive staging. The NRW-Forum takes the visitors into a transmedia art trail on more than 1200 square meters, with art installations, video and music productions and virtual realities. The exhibition, situated between dystopia and utopia, takes visitors into fictional worlds, into a unique art experience with portals to magical worlds, full of fascinating works, surreal secret passages and mystical discoveries.

Curatorial statement

As a jury we felt honored to be able to witness more than 400 works submitted to the Open Call and to choose between so many strong submissions that represented a wide variety of different forms - form installation, live performance, sound, video, abstract works, VR, AR, and MR.

The process of selection took several stages. As a part of the project nextmuseum.io and the concept of open co-curation there was a vivid telegram discussion with more than 85 participants. After the initial preselection, there was further discussion and voting by the jury to first narrow down the entries under consideration and then to select the final nine.

Ultimately, however, we had to make difficult choices. In our selection it was important to represent a spread of immersive approaches and submissions that deal with the topic of heaven in ways, challenging our senses and perception of reality and focusing on exclusive, intimate, human experience in the age of technology.

Submissions

*
  • Digital art
  • Mixed Media

*

Noriyuki Suzuki

selected
syntheticum maximum
  • Foto
  • Mixed Media

syntheticum maximum

Dagmar Hugk

selected
EDEN
  • Mixed Media
  • Post internet
  • VR

EDEN

Christiane Peschek

selected
VOID (Woodlands)
  • Digital art
  • Video

VOID (Woodlands)

Barbara Herold & Florian Huth

selected
What do I know? I am just a machine?!
  • AR
  • Digital art
  • Sound

What do I know? I am just a machine?!

Martin Backes

selected
AN AI CALLED DIOTIMA
  • Video
  • VR

AN AI CALLED DIOTIMA

Catherine Spet

selected
GIFmeister
  • Mixed Media
  • Post internet

GIFmeister

RaumZeitPiraten

selected
Shonisaurus Popularis
  • Mixed Media
  • Video

Shonisaurus Popularis

Hazel Brill

selected
Rat Cage
  • Digital art

Rat Cage

Paola Pinna

selected

Join the discussion

Get notified about upcoming webinars, incoming submissions and discuss projects with our curators in the official nextmuseum.io telegram group.

t.me/nextmuseum_io