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    Contemporary art and Virtual Reality : new conditions of viewership

    Catrical�, Valentino ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4369-0123 and Spampinato, Francesco Maria (2021) Contemporary art and Virtual Reality : new conditions of viewership. Cinergie – Il Cinema E Le Altre Arti (No. 19). pp. 121-133. ISSN 2280-9481

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    This article aims to respond to the lack of studies on the relationships between contemporary visual arts and VR, focusing on the role of "storytelling" and identifying what distinguishes VR art projects from other contemporary uses of VR, namely the criticism that they make of the VR medium itself. In the last five years, VR has developed a new language based on a specific visual grammar that has allowed for new forms of narration to arise. Visual artists have been attracted to VR in search of new modes of production and have exposed the negative impact of technology on our perception of reality, uncovering new mediated ways of seeing and distanced interaction with the world around us. The first part of the article will be dedicated to discussing Canadian artist Jon Rafman's View of Pariser Platz (2016) and American artist Jordan Wolfson's Real violence (2017), two of the first Oculus Rift-based art installations that developed a metalinguistic commentary on how VR, although promising immersion, produces, in fact, alienation, homogenization, brutalization and the loss of empathy. The article will continue with a discussion on the recent rise of tech companies that aim at producing contemporary artworks based on VR technology: Acute Art (London), Khora Contemporary (Copenhagen), and VIVE Arts (Taiwan). This is a new and expanding field that is changing the ontology of artmaking and redefining the artist's role, mainly in light of the cooperation with technicians and programmers.

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