AR-Biennale, sculpture and processing Manuel Rossner, photo Katja Illner, © NRW-Forum Düsseldorf

Vir­tu­al art in (inter)ac­tion

New fest­ivals com­bine real­ity with di­git­al worlds

If you feel like try­ing out new trends and dis­cov­er­ing pieces of art on screen that are in­vis­ible to the na­ked eye in the real world, you will find what you’re look­ing for at vari­ous vir­tu­al fest­ivals in North Rhine-West­phalia.

Migrating between the worlds at New Now

The mixing plant of the Zollverein coking plant will give you an idea of the hard work once performed here in mixing different coal qualities into the best result for coking. The New Now festival allows the past and present, analogue and digital worlds, to interact. Large installations, virtual landscapes, and performative sculptures cover the region’s industrial heritage.

The festival premiered at the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein in Essen in 2021. Contemporary artists let us look over their shoulders as they were developing new works on current subjects on site. Using the options afforded by digital art, they have jointly explored phenomena of our time, designed new presences, and presented them in an exhibition.

The latest hit at the Places VR Festival

Gelsenkirchen turns into a meeting point for technology enthusiasts, gamers, and fans of digital art for three days every summer. The Places VR Festival brings together experts from various industries to talk about the potential applications of virtual-reality technology. At the same time, visitors may try out various VR applications in a number of shops, pubs, backyards, and festival stands in the district of Ückendorf for free, where they can also talk to the applications’ creators right away. Experts in their respective fields, they hail from the fields of architecture, medicine, culture, and entertainment. An additional family offer is also available, giving parents an opportunity to learn more about the technology’s background while children try out various VR games. No registration is required. Admission is free and everything is happening in extraordinary locations and with a matching festival atmosphere.

Digital art in Düsseldorf

In its second edition, the AR Biennale in Düsseldorf links nature, human mankind and technology: "Hybrid Nature" is the theme of the digital sculpture park, which can be experienced around the NRW-Forum and in the Hofgarten by means of an augmented reality app and terminal device.

Digital art and music projects invite us to reflect on digitalisation in some very different locations every autumn. The Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus, the Salon des Amateurs, and the Berger Kirche are some of the most prominent locations and will have videos, installations, paintings, and photographs from around the world on display.


AR Biennale: 2024, not yet determined

Places VR Festivals: 16 - 25 May 2024

New Now: 2025, not yet determined  ||

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein, © Jochen Tack - Stiftung Zollverein

UN­ESCO World Her­it­age Site Zollver­ein

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