XR Playground

iX path

Wednesday May 29 - 17:00
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XR Playground

iX path

XR Playgrounds present four artworks:

COMBATscience Augmented

AR installation (by Ruth Schnell)

In the AR installation COMBATscience Augmented, the life stories of German chemist Fritz Haber (1868–1934) and his wife Clara Immerwahr (1870–1915), also a doctor in chemistry, serve as the background from which different scenarios evolve, addressing questions about the role of science between research ethics and feasibility studies.
Haber and Immerwahr had opposing mindsets: In World War I Haber employed his knowledge as the head designer of German gas warfare; the pacifist Immerwahr committed suicide following the first gas attack. Viewers navigate between stations of the storyline with wireless HoloLens data goggles. Digital holographic scenarios unfold amidst the real surroundings.


VR installation (by Martin Kusch)

“Diver” is an interactive installation that explores the spectacular potential of virtual reality. Wearing VR headsets, visitors experience a perilous dive from an Olympic diving board, seen from the inside. They are plunged into the heart of this extreme action, an acrobatic free-fall interrupted by a shattering entrance into the water. Invited to move within the space of the installation, they witness real athletic prowess transformed into a maze of surreal “video sculptures.” Exploring and questioning the solitary nature of the VR headset, “Diver” offers spectators an extraordinary aesthetic and kinaesthetic thrill.

Swarming Lounge

AR performance and installation (by kondition pluriel)

Swarming Gallery is a participative, body- based, mixed reality performance embedded in an intelligent virtual environment: an interactive composition system in which visitors and dancers/performers interact with virtual characters displayed on the audience’s smart-phones. Visitors experience multiple shifting degrees of presences and micro-narratives in an intertwining of real and virtual situations as well as the intermixing of the two .
Combining traces of everyday gestures and fragments of intimacy, a parallel world of humanoid algorithmic entities merges with the actual reality of the observing public and alters their perception . What fashions the presence of these characters? What makes them endearing to us? What becomes of our own presence, which is constantly extended by the surveillance devices we use? What is the community that we and they become together?
In a playful yet slightly melancholic way, Swarming Gallery explores the multilayered affective and autopoïetic links engendered by the stratification of the states of presence of mixed realities and questions our addictive relationship with the miniaturised worlds of screens . In this journey the persistence of virtual presences haunts us, like an unsolvable enigma.

tx-reverse 360°

VR installation (by Virgil Widrich and Martin Reinhart)

"tx-reverse 360°" is a space time cut through cinema. What is behind the cinema screen? It is not surprising that cinema-in-the-cinema scenes are often used in horror films. For they irritate and unsettle by reminding us – the immobile viewers hidden in the cosy darkness – of our own questionable position. What if the forces of unlimited imagination penetrate through the canvas into our reality? What if the auditorium dissolves and with it the familiar laws of cinema itself? In a way never before seen, "tx-reverse" shows this collision of reality and cinema and draws its viewers into a vortex in which the familiar order of space and time seems to be suspended.
Back in the 1990s, Martin Reinhart invented a film technique called "tx-transform", which exchanges the time (t) and space axis (x) in a film. Normally, each individual film frame represents the entire space, but only a brief moment of time (1/24 second). In the case of tx-transformed films, however, the opposite is true: each film frame shows the entire time, but only a tiny part of the space – in cuts along the horizontal spatial axis, the left part of the image thus becomes the "before", the right part the "after".


Ruth Schnell


Ruth Schnell is an Austrian media artist and curator. She has been working with computer-aided tools since the mid-1980s. Her artistic research focuses on examining the perception of images/sound/language in connection with different concepts of reality. Her corpus of work, which includes dynamic projections, interactive environments and light installations, furthermore explores the nature of human perception and the relationship between perception and the body. Her work has been widely acclaimed and exhibited internationally. In 1995 she represented Austria at the 46th Biennale di Venezia. Since 2010 she is Head of the Digital Arts Department at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Martin Kusch


Martin Kusch is an interdisciplinary artist, Senior Artist, Artistic Researcher, Assistant Professor and Director of the Fulldome/VR/AR lab at the Department of Digital Arts, University for Applied Arts, Vienna. He is founder and artistic co-director of the media performance group kondition pluriel. Living and working in Vienna and Montreal, Martin is particularly interested in the transformation processes of the electronic media inside performative contexts, and on how digital technologies influence our perception of the body and space. For the last ten years he has been deeply involved into the artistic research and creation processes of immersive media, virtual and augmented reality environments. His works have been presented at numerous festivals and institutions, such as: Ars Electronica (Linz), ISEA (Nagoya, Helsinki and Essen), ZKM (Karlsruhe), RobotLove (Eindhoven), F.I.N.D (Montreal), La Menagerie de Verre (Paris), Itau Cultural (Sao Paulo), Transmediale (Berlin), CYNETart (Dresden), EMPAC (Troy), MAK (Vienna).


Virgil Widrich


Screenwriter, film director, multimedia artist and professor of "Art & Science" at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. His short film "Copy Shop" was nominated for an Oscar. In total, his work has been awarded more than 130 international awards. Virgil Widrich is involved in a variety of roles as project manager, conceptionalist, exhibition designer or artistic director in the creation of screenplays, short and feature films, installations, exhibitions and entire museums, as well as in international research projects.