Virtual Borders Arizona by Mr. Toll & Gabija Grusaite - The First Ever Virtual Reality Sculpture Experience - Northern Territory - Greenpoint, Brooklyn July 16, 2015 19:28 2 Comments

I have seen the future of gallery shows and it is Virtual Reality!  On Tuesday at the rooftop hot spot Northern Territories Brooklyn-based sculptor and street artists Mr. Toll a.k.a. Jaime Toll and novelist, artist and curator Gabija Grusaite joined forces with with VirtuEye a London based company accelerating the employment of accessible non-gaming VR applications to transport the patrons from the Brooklyn rooftop into the desserts of Arizona.
Three large-scale sculptures (20ft in diameter) were built and guerrilla installed in Arizona desert. They were photographed using a virtual reality technology and showcased in Brooklyn vie virtual reality technology as part of this launch event.  It was pretty much impossible to get a photo of the actual images in the goggles, but I assure you the technology was visually crisp, and used a super easy user interface to select the different sculptures.
Mr. Toll explains their motivation behind the project:
"While the modern rhetoric of those in power is to convince population that there is a necessity to protect borders from “them”, be it Mexicans, boats of Ethiopians, Indonesian or Rohingya; these borders are not obsolete. Once upon a time Arizona has been part of Mexico and few hundred years before there was no such a country as the great USA. Geopolitics shift according to the power balance and borders are created and enforced by people.
Once down here in the Arizonian desert one witnesses a vast desolate landscape completely ignorant of human effort to tame it. Virtual Borders attempts to raise a dialogue about the control of the borders and the free flow of people, ideas and art.
Paradoxically the New World was built as a ‘melting pot of cultures’.
By creating art and placing it in ‘the middle of nowhere’ landscape Virtual Borders seeks to redefine the idea of space and the sense of belonging. Desert is no joke – heat, dehydration, snakes, border patrols – there are people who risk everything to cross the frontier, and maybe one day balance will shift and people will be moving in the opposite direction.
With a help of technology, Virtual Borders transports the spectator to the open-air gallery down in the frontier and hopefully gets one to reflect on the temporary nature of the world that we human create against the power of nature to start a conversation about power, immigration, control, the real meaning of human rights and the beauty that stems from cross-cultural collaboration."

The practical applications for the technology is endless (it was originally developed as a tool for the real estate industry). As an avid art collector myself I could see myself previewing a gallery show in London on my VR goggles and swiping my credit card on the side to buy a piece of art!

I highly recommend you check out the next show!

Virtual Borders@Northern Territory Rooftop
took place on 14th of July, Tuesday
7PM – doors open to public
8PM – Artist talk
12 Franklin st. Greenpoint Brooklyn

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Author: Matthew A. Eller   
All Photos & Text Copyright Matthew A. Eller 2015  
Twitter: @ellerlawfirm