For the new programme VRHAM! FORWARD in cooperation with the Institut für theatrale Zukunftsforschung (ITZ) at the Zimmertheater Tübingen, VRHAM! is looking for artists who are interested in experimenting with virtual and augmented reality in the field of the performing arts for the current festival edition from 4 to 12 June 2021. Two creative teams will have the opportunity to (further) develop their already planned or new immersive projects in one-week residencies at ITZ and to showcase it at this years VRHAM! Festival. The Open Call starts on 3 March 2021. 

VRHAM! FORWARD

VRHAM! invites artists from Europe to explore the possibilities of VR and AR for the performing arts and these technologies can be integrated into performative formats. Already conceptualised projects or artistic works in their intital stages of development are to be continued in a one-week residency at ITZ in between 1 to 16 May 2021. The artistic processes will be accompanied by renowned international mentors. A first project status will be presented at the opening weekend of VRHAM!.

The Open Call starts on 3 March and ends on 31 March 2021.

VRHAM! FORWARD is supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. In cooperation with Institut für theatrale Zukunftsforschung at Zimmertheater Tübingen.

The ITZ (Institut für theatrale Zukunftsforschung) at the Zimmertheater Tübingen stands out through its hybrid form as theatre venue and producing theatre. Its focus on devised theatre and the literature-producing approach on socio-political topics characterizes the ITZ as a model for a municipal theatre of the future. Besides productions with the ITZ ensemble the theatre welcomes international theatre companies such as STEREO AKT (HU), Fräulein Wunder AG and Neue Dringlichkeit (CH) which pursue their artistic work during their residencies in Tübingen. Different discursive formats organized by the theatre are another core component of the development processes and thus, as upstream discourse and exchange platforms, enable content-based and scientifically inspired artistic results of high aesthetic quality.

For the 4th edition of VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival, taking place in Hamburg from 4 June to 12 June 2021, we are looking for the latest artistic VR, AR and Mixed Reality projects from all over the world. As one of five partners of the EU project REAL-IN, VRHAM! also calls for applications from individual artists and artist teams who want to explore the possibilities of 3D scanning technology for the development of their projects in a residency. Both Open Calls will start on 1 February 2021.

OPEN CALL VRHAM! 2021

VRHAM! invites VR artists from all over the world to submit VR, AR and Mixed Reality projects they are currently working on or have recently completed. We accepted installations, 360° films, live performances and interactive works. The selected projects will be presented in the 2021 program, both physically in Hamburg and digitally accessible worldwide. All submitted projects compete for the 5,000 Euro VRHAMMY AWARD, which will be presented by an international jury on the opening night of the festival.

The Open Call starts on 1 February and ends on 28 February 2021.

OPEN CALL REAL-IN: INTERACTIVE ART

As one of four partners of the EU project REAL-IN, VRHAM! calls for applications from individual artists and artist teams who want to explore the possibilities of 3D scanning technology for the development of their interactive projects (recently finished or currently in progress) in a weeklong residency. The selected creative team will present the results of the residency during the VRHAM! Festival in Hamburg (4-12 June 2021), both at a conference for the industry and also for the festival audience.

The Open Call starts on 1 February and ends on 15 March 2021.

Within the framework of the EU call for proposals “Bridging Culture and Audiovisual Content through Digital”, the cultural project REAL IN, co-initiated by VRAHM!, has received funding as one of eight projects.

REAL IN is a cross-cultural and cross-sectoral research project of VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival (Hamburg), La Manufacture (Avignon), MEET Digital Culture Center (Mailand) and ESPRONCEDA Institute of Arts & Culture (Barcelona).

“We are extremely pleased to receive this funding commitment! This is a great honor, an exciting next step for the VRHAM! Festival. On the initiative of us and ESPRONCEDA from Barcelona, we were able to set up a great project with other partners that will explore and present developments in 3D scanning technologies for artistic and immersive projects across borders and across Europe.”

The four European partners from the fields of interactive arts, theater, music and design, together with the award-winning production company Black Euphoria (Marseille), will further develop the use of 3D scanning technology in combination with immersive technologies for the creative industries to promote new participatory approaches for audiences. With REAL IN, an innovative program of residencies, symposia and workshops will be implemented to present and discuss the prototypes jointly developed by creatives, programmers and creative industry actors at the respective festivals and events.

INVR.SPACE has been awarded the Halo Award in the category “Special New Horizons” at VRDays Europe for the social platform “LFF – THE EXPANSE”, a variation of the META SPACE VR Platform developed together with Ulrich Schrauth and Anja Cambria for the BFI London Film Festival 2020.

The Virtual Reality Full Service Studio, based in Berlin and Munich, had already been a Virtual Venue Partner for VRHAM! VIRTUAL had already virtually recreated the Gleishalle in Hamburg’s Oberhafen as a festival venue.

The Halo Awards are presented for AR and VR projects. The organisers want to use the prize to highlight European works, performances, projects and to honour the creative people who produced them.

The four-day VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival ended in the evening with the People’s Choice Award ceremony (winner: Gravity VR) and a concert in cooperation with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

“Our experiment to move the festival for international VR art into virtual space has been successful”, said Ulrich Schrauth. The artistic director is delighted with the positive response of the national and international visitors and the great popularity. “Over 600 registrations on our website alone for the VR-glasses discount campaign in cooperation with grover.com and DKB, for Steam codes and activations, plus well over 2000 visitors who followed our opening on Thursday. Extrapolated to the four days of the festival, we currently expect more than 20,000 viewers on our channels including the Museum of Other Realities and Magenta VR,” says Ulrich Schrauth.

The People’s Choice Award for the best experience of the artistic programme goes to Gravity VR by Fabito Rychter and Armir Admoni. The two artists deal with falling and stage it as a peaceful floating in weightlessness. The VRHAMMY Award, already presented at the opening ceremony by an international jury of experts (Liz Rosenthal, Jesse Damiani, Kay Watson) with the kind support of the ZEIT-Stiftung, goes to The Key by Celine Tricart. A special mention was given to Daughters of Chibok by Joel ‘Kachi Benson.

Highlights of the program included the Artist Talk with the artists Michelle-Marie Letelier (The Bone), Christian Lemmerz (La Apparizione) and Michel Lemieux (iCarus), about the possibilities of VR art in times of physical distancing. In cooperation with Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the projects Captured and The smallest of Worlds – a Social Landscape of collected Privacy were presented as part of the residency programme. The CyberRäuber provided insights into their theatrical installation CyberBallett. VRHAM! VIRTUAL ended musically on 7 June: In cooperation with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (SHMF) and with the support of the NORDAKADEMIE-Stiftung, the work Tessellatum by Donnacha Denney was performed live by viola da gamba player Liam Byrne together with the musicians Johanna Ruppert (violin), Friedemann Slenczka (viola), Simone Drescher (cello) and Kristina Edin (double bass) at the festival hub and streamed to the Museum of Other Realities and on YouTube. The recorded VRHAM! concert from the Oberhafen will be one of three “Moondog concerts” to kick off the “Summer of Possibilities” of this year’s Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

Numerous partners have supported the digital edition of the festival, which has been taking place since 2018. Ulrich Schrauth: “With VRHAM! VIRTUAL we have successfully explored the growing digital possibilities. Never before has there been a festival with encounters and social interaction in virtual space. With this edition we have created a virtual version of VRHAM! – including a great virtual location designed by INVR.Space – which will grow with us and gives us the chance to create a complementary digital VRHAM! Festival for all upcoming physical editions.”

The 18 experiences from the artistic program can be experienced in the Museum of Other Realities and via the Magenta VR app until 4 August 2020.

The fourth VRHAM Virtual Reality & Arts Festival will take place as a physical festival most likely at the beginning of June 2021 in Hamburg’s Oberhafenquartier.

The VRHAMMY AWARD 2020 of this year’s digital edition of VRAHM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival goes to the VR work The Key by Celine Tricart. 360° film Daughters of Chibok received a special mention.

During the virtual opening ceremony at the Museum of Other Realities, the VRHAMMY Award for the best VR work in the artistic program, endowed with 5,000 euros, was presented to Celine Tricart for her Experience The Key, with the kind support of the ZEIT-Stiftung. The international jury of experts (Liz Rosenthal, Jesse Damiani, Kay Watson) agreed that the work represented a perfect combination of art, narrative elements and poetry, with a special focus on the current crises of the time. The Key takes viewers on a journey through dreams, challenges and difficult choices, leading them to a shocking revelation. Celine Tricart and producer Gloria Bradbury decided to donate the prize money to a support fund for diversity in XR art.

The jury also gave a special mention to the 360° film Daughters of Chibok. Through the medium of VR, director Joel ‘Kachi Benson succeeded in drawing attention to an event that has long since been forgotten: the abduction of 274 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram in 2014. Both experiences are shown in the VRHAM! section VREXHIBITION and can be seen at the Museum of Other Realities until 4 August 2020. Daughters of Chibok is also accessible via the Magenta VR app.

“We all know an experiment can succeed or fail. But if we succeed, this experiment might have a huge impact on how people can experience art in the future and how they think about festivals and social interaction in an artistic context,” said Ulrich Schrauth, Artistic Director of VRHAM!, in his opening speech. “And it is also a step towards democratization of art: it makes our program accessible from almost anywhere in the world.”

In addition to the VRHAMMY Award, the festival also presents the People’s Choice Award, for which online voting is now possible. All 18 works of the artistic programme compete. The award ceremony will take place on 7 June as part of the virtual closing event.

VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival Hamburg is the first international artistic Virtual Reality festival, which has been held annually in Hamburg since 2018. After two successful festival editions in Hamburg’s creative centre Oberhafen, VRHAM! has firmly established itself as an important date in the international VR art scene. Due to the effects of the Corona pandemic, the third festival edition VRAHM! VIRTUAL takes place from June 4 to 7, 2020 as a predominantly digital festival.

On Thursday, 4 June, the third VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival will start as the digital edition VRHAM! VIRTUAL. The festive opening with guests from Hamburg and all over the world will take place in the virtual Museum of Other Realities and will be streamed live on the VRHAM! YouTube channel. 

Ulrich Schrauth, Artistic Director of VRHAM!: “After exciting weeks and months we are looking forward to our first virtual festival edition. By moving into virtual reality we can reach an international audience even more and offer a broader platform to the VR artists. What we are also trying to do with the virtual edition is to transfer the complete experience of a festival into digital space – an experiment we are happy to embark on”, says Ulrich Schrauth, Artistic Director of VRHAM!

Dr. Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s Minister for Culture and Media: “At a festival called ‘VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival’, the experiment of letting the festival take place anyway despite the Corona pandemic restrictions, but virtually, seems appropriate. But this does not reduce the challenge in any way and it is impressive in what short time ‘VRHAM! VIRTUAL’ was set up. It’s great that personal exchange is also integrated into this project, after all, every festival doesn’t live from the artwork alone. The fact that the virtual museum’s doors are open to a global audience – without any distance regulations or visitor limits – means that the festival’s reach can also be extended. This special situation once again gives the festival the potential to bring VR to a wider audience.”

The welcoming words of Hamburg’s Minister for Culture and Media, Dr. Carsten Brosda, and a keynote speech by Tea Uglow, Creative Director Google Creative Lab Sydney, about the momentary interruption of our normality and how this is the breeding ground for new learning processes and exciting experiments like VRHAM! VIRTUAL, will be followed by this year’s VRHAMMY Awards ceremony, with Daniel Opper from the ZEIT Stiftung giving a welcoming address. The international jury (Liz Rosenthal, Kay Watson and Jesse Damiani) will award the prize of 5,000 euros to one of the 18 international VR works in this year’s artistic program. Afterwards, the virtual exhibition with artists from all over the world will be opened in the museum and the public will for the first time have a look at the virtual venue, which has been reconstructed by INVR.Space. The evening ends with music, (virtual) drinks and digital dance.

VRHAM! Virtual will take place digitally until 7 June 2020. The entire festival program can be followed from home at the Museum of Other Realities with VR glasses, and a large part of the artworks can also be experienced via the Magenta VR app. Streamed museum tours, video footage, 360° films and interviews with the artists as well as all panels, workshops and live formats including the opening and closing, will be streamed on the VRHAM! YouTube channel from 4 to 7 June 2020.

Opening with award ceremony, 18 international works from 12 countries in the artistic program, and festival closing with a virtual live concert in cooperation with the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival: VRHAM! VIRTUAL announces the program for this year’s digital festival edition from June 4 to 7, 2020.

This year’s venue is the virtual Museum of Other Realities. There, in the digitized version of Hamburg’s Oberhafenquartier, the well-known physical festival centre of 2018 and 2019, digitally reconstructed by INVR.Space, all selected artworks will be exhibited and made accessible in virtual space.

»Our festival has always been a place to perceive art differently. After having established the first artistic Virtual Reality Festival worldwide, we are now the first in trying to establish a complete art festival with interactive exhibitions, a completely virtual venue, social interaction between the visitors, live events, residencies, award shows etc. into the virtual realm. This is a total experiment and we couldn’t be more excited to find out together with our audience and our incredible partners what a virtual extension of a physical art festival can contribute, not only as a short-term emergency plan, but as an important addition to our location-based festival«, says Ulrich Schrauth, Artistic Director of VRHAM!

The festival section VREXHIBITION presents ten state-of-the-art VR experiences, including the project Daughters of Chibok by Joel ‘Kachie Benson, which won the Golden Lion for the best VR story at the Venice Festival in 2019. From the perspective of mothers, the Nigerian director recounts the aftermath of the 276 young girls abducted in 2014 by the terrorist group Boko Haram and examines current global issues of gender justice. Rain Fruits by Youngyoon Song and Sngmoo Leeist, a story about future dreams and disappointments of a young man from Myanmar, will be shown at VRCINEMA with another 360° project under the thematic bracket DRIFT OF LIFE. Six more works are presented in the section under the topics FLOW OF TIME and CHANGE OF MIND. »Everything is in flow at the moment. Many people use this time as an opportunity to pause, to re-evaluate inner beliefs and the perception of the world surrounding them. Water is the perfect symbol for this fluidity of emotions which are expressed among all the creators contributing to this exhibition, so we also used it as a combining element in our set design,« says Ulrich Schrauth.

The digital opening ceremony on 4 June at 19.00 h with speeches, talks and live music is also an award show. The VRHAMMY Award, worth 5,000 Euros, goes to the best international VR production in this year’s exhibition program and is presented with the kind support of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius in the presence of the artists and the international jury of experts. On the same evening, public guided tours through the digital exhibition will be offered, for which visitors can register at www.vrham.de already before the start of the festival. In one of the virtual artist talks on 5 June at 16.00 h Ulrich Schrauth will ask the artists Michelle-Marie Letelier (The Bone), Christian Lemmerz (La Apparizione) and Michel Lemieux (iCarus) what bridge VR art can build in times of physical distance. The projects Captured and The smallest of Worlds – a Social Landscape of collected Privacy were selected for this year’s residencies in cooperation with Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein. During the festival, both artistic teams will give an insight into the current state of their work, which will be realized in the context of a digital residency and accompanied by international mentors.

After the final panel discussion and the presentation of the People’s Choice Award to the most popular work of this year’s program, VRHAM VIRTUAL! will end musically on 7 June: In cooperation with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and with the support of the Nordakademie Foundation, the work Tessellatum by Donnacha Denney from the concert series »Moondog« will be broadcast live by viola da gamba-player Liam Byrne and four string players in the Museum of Other Realities and on YouTube.

The entire festival programme can be viewed live from the comfort of your own home with your laptop or PC, with mobile VR glasses or with high-end VR glasses. VRHAM!, in cooperation with Grover and with the kind support of the DKB-Bank, provides festival visitors with a limited number of VR glasses at a greatly reduced price for rent. The digital festival edition VRHAM! VIRTUAL can be accessed via the Museum of Other Realities. In addition, the majority of the artworks can be experienced via the MagentaVR App. Streamed museum tours, video material, 360° video films and interviews with the artists as well as all panels, workshops and live acts including the opening and closing will be broadcast on the VRHAM! YouTube channel from 4 to 7 June, 2020.

Two submissions from the Open Call on the current situation due to COVID 19 have been selected for this year’s digital festival edition VRHAM! VIRTUAL: Lithodendrum by Ida Kvetny and New World by Kerenza Harris and Alessio Grancini are shown in the festival section VRCinema.

“We are impressed by the artistic diversity on the submitted projects. The two selected artworks have convinced us; their very different views on the current threat show a multi-layered, artistic exploration,” says Ulrich Schrauth, artistic director of VRHAM!

In their 360° project New World, Kerenza Harris and Alessio Grancini (USA) deal with the real threat of the Corona crisis. The audience embarks on an emotional journey through the bizarre chaos with the main characters. Danish artist Ida Kvetny dives into an escapist world with Lithodendrum. With her work, she takes the viewers from reality into a grotesque inferno, into a visually powerful and restless parallel world.

The deadline for the open call ended on 8 May. We were looking for works that deal innovatively with the perception of the current situation. A total of 274 works from 36 countries were submitted for all open calls of this year’s festival edition.

VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival Hamburg is the first international artistic Virtual Reality festival, which has been held annually in Hamburg since 2018. After two successful festival editions in Hamburg’s creative centre Oberhafen, VRHAM! has firmly established itself as an important date in the international VR art scene. Due to the effects of the Corona pandemic, the third festival edition VRAHM! VIRTUAL takes place from June 4 to 7, 2020 as a predominantly digital festival.

For this year’s predominantly digital edition of the festival, VRHAM! has been able to win three renowned experts for the international jury.

The winner of the international VRHAMMY AWARD 2020 will be selected by Liz Rosenthal, Curator of immersive content for Venice International Film Festival’s »Venice VR«, Founder & CEO of Power to the Pixel, Kay Watson, Digital Curator at Serpentine Galleries in London, and Jesse Damiani, Deputy Director of Emerging Technology at Southern New Hampshire University, Forbes Contributor, and Editor-at-Large of VRScout.
Read more