Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, total immersion in virtual worlds and superimposing data onto our reality — for several years now, everybody’s been talking up these concepts and ideas once again. The enthusiasm that accompanied the dawn of this new high-tech age in the 1980s and ’90s is back and the technology deployed in today’s data glasses (head-mounted displays) seems to finally be able to live up to the visions that preceded it. VR, AR and MR have become a playground of multifarious pursuits: the gaming sector and film industry, applications in the educational field and tourism market, works of art and architecture, the creative economy, performance and the theater.

The VRLab in the Ars Electronica Center’s Main Gallery showcases the latest VR, AR and MR technologies. In addition to applications by filmmakers and animators as well as artistic approaches, the VRLab relates the history of virtual and augmented reality’s development. What did 18th-century spatial illusions look like, how did we progress from the stereoscope to the Oculus Rift, and in which directions will VR and AR be advancing in days to come? The VRLab provides insights into these questions.

Digiti-light the Human Networks
Gianpaolo Barozzi (Cisco) (IT), Bill Jackson (Cisco) (US), Chuck Shipman (Cisco) (US), Laura Smith (Slanted Theory) (GB), Mark Burkitt (Slanted Theory) (GB), Toshi Hoo (Institute For The Future) (US)

Digiti-light Human Networks is a collaborative VR environment that immerses people in the digitized map of their organizational network.

Keiichi Matsuda (GB/JP)

HYPER-REALITY is a concept film, presenting a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media.

The Lacuna Shifts

Alice in Wonderland inspired the artists’ collective named DEPART to create this Virtual Reality application that immerses users in a world behind the looking glass in which nothing is the way it seems.

Jürgen Ropp (AT), Oliver Lehner (Sound Design) (AT)

This installation invites visitors to physically experience the login process, which normally isn’t visible.

Klimt’s Magic Garden
Frederick Baker (AT/GB)

Klimt's Magic Garden allows the audience not only to enter INTO Klimt's art work for the Stoclet Frieze, but also to travel OUT the other side into a 21st-century experience.

CyArk (US), FarBridge (US)

In this virtual reality application, you travel to various historically significant locations around the world.

The Other in You
Richi Owaki (JP), Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

The Other in You is an attempt to revive the notion of our body in relation to an object, a notion, which had been forgotten in the act of watching.