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Save the (Virtual) Artist, Save the Planet

"'Rising' allows users to directly interact with the artist virtually from anywhere in the world."

In Marina Abramović’s HTC Vive VR experience “Rising,” explains Thomas McMullan, “the user is presented with a virtual warehouse and a glass tank filling with water. Inside the tank is an avatar of Abramović. 

“As the artist speaks, you are whisked to the polar ice caps, crumbling in the distance. When you return to the warehouse, you are asked to make a pact with Abramović to save the environment. Depending on what you choose, the avatar will either be saved or drown.”

“I really wanted to make a video game,” Abramović tells McMullan. “Maybe the game is about raising consciousness. Rising, in this, may have two meanings: rising water and rising consciousness [about the issues of global warming].” 

“How we as artists are trying to use this technology reminds me so much of the early stage of video art. When video art started, no one knew what we were going to do with this medium. It was mostly used in very stupid ways. Nothing really interesting was being made until Nam June Paik came along. He took the medium and really deconstructed it.” To read the full article, click here

“Abramović’s pioneering performance career has centered around time-based work, which uses both hers and the public’s body as a canvas,” Matthew Gepp says. “She has continually pushed the boundaries with durational work that has defined contemporary performance. With ‘Rising,’ the artist’s presence is brought into another dimension.

“To produce the artwork, Acute Art developers captured the artist’s unique facial expressions to create a realistic looking avatar of Abramović. Embracing new technology in an endeavor to transmit the presence of the artist virtually, ‘Rising’ allows users to directly interact with the artist virtually from anywhere in the world.” To read the full article, click here

Read more: Save the Planet—and Marina Abramović’s Avatar—From Rising Water Levels in the Artist’s First Virtual Reality Work

Read more: Marina Abramović and Anish Kapoor to Present Two Virtual Reality Artworks at Art Basel in Hong Kong

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