Interact with Virtually Real Art in London

Its creators promise an exhibition unlike any other: visitors to the Royal Academy of Arts in London will be soon allowed to do something most galleries would frown upon – interact, walk through, and even over, the creations.

Three young artists from the Royal Academy’s School have teamed up with Taiwanese technology company HTC to create this unique exhibition of Virtual Reality art.

Eliott Dodd is one of them: “The challenge is mostly starting from scratch on something you’ve never used before. It’s like being presented with a new tool that you don’t understand, but there are triggers there that you do understand, kind of intuitive ways of working from using other computer software,” he says.

A virtual reality studio also strips away many of the constraints a traditional artist faces and, in this respect, Eliott Dodd has found his early experiments rather liberating.

“There’s a lot of experimenting to do because all the software is in its early conception, early versions. No one quite understands how these drawing softwares are going to end up being used, maybe commercially or in the arts, so everything you’re doing feels quite unknown,” says Dodd.

The artists will use two programs to create their works – Tilt Brush, a painting program, and Kodon, a 3D modelling app.

HTC is providing the hardware with its Vive virtual reality system.

“The exciting thing about virtual reality is that for the first time we’re bringing the real world together with the imaginary, or the virtual, world,” says Senior Vice President of Virtual Reality at HTC, Rikard Steiber. “And as you can see here tonight we’re having artists going into the virtual world, create new pieces of art and then we’re going to bring them out of virtual reality into the real world as 3D printed objects – so that’s a world first.”

A limited number of tickets is available for ‘Virtually Real’, the Royal Academy’s first exhibition of Virtual Reality art, that runs from January 12 to 14.
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