Three Artists Interpret Three Dimensions

Italian contemporary artists, designers, and architects are at the forefront of developing technologies that are being used for both imaginitive recreations of the past as well as envisioning the future and altogether alternative realities.

A giant cityscape canvas painting by Milan-based illustrator Fabio Giampietro morphed into an enhanced 360 virtual reality (VR) experience by digital artist Alessio De Vecchi, an effort that won this year’s Lumen Prize Gold Award, a distinction for new media projects.  

The painting, Hyperplanes of Simultaneity, was inspired by the block universe theory – in which the past and present exist but the future does not. The artwork doesn’t necessarily have a central vortex, but presents a distribution of observing points linking to the spectator’s physical movements.

The monumental-size work is viewed through a Samsung Gear virtual reality headset, transforming the painted cityscape into a 3D digital immersive experience.

Using VR to restore the past, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have created a digital model of a house in Pompeii by using traditional archaeology assisted by 3D technology. The Swedish Pompeii Project began at the Swedish Institute in Rome in 2000 after an earthquake threatened to destroy the remains of the former Roman town. The 3D model of a house that was recreated by Nicolò Dell’Unto, digital archaeologist at Lund, was a villa belonging to the wealthy Caecilius Iucundus.

Meanwhile, Matteo Bittanti’s concurrent exhibitions with COLLEO partner Colleen Flaherty Cool War. Game Art Across the Straits, at Wifredo Centro De Arte Contemporaneo, Havana, and How to Build a Universe Which Does Not Fall Apart Two Days Later, at La Maison Populaire, Paris, use born-digital prints and video to simultaneously critique and celebrate video game culture.

While considering the new directions Italian art may go in the 21st Century, have a care for the future of the Italian art Society and please consider donating to IAS to encourage both its growth and longevity. Given IAS’ impending thirtieth anniversary, IAS is asking members to consider donations in permutations of 3 and/or 30.  Whether that means a donation of $3 or $300, be certain that any donation goes far in supporting IAS’s mission, programs, fellowships, charitable activities, and publications.

In addition, it is a great time to join or renew your IAS membership (all current memberships expire on 31 December of this year). Please encourage non-members (colleagues, friends, aficionados) working on or appreciative of Italian art, architecture, and visual culture across all media, periods, and career paths to jointhe IAS. 

Above: Links to videos Hyperplanes of Simultaneity, three-dimensional Pompeii reconstruction from Lund University, and Matteo Bittanti seminar on video games and art. Below: IOCOSE and Matteo Bittanti, 2011. Still from Rhizome Project at The New Museum, New York City.

Further Reading: 

Bettina Bergmann. Roman Frescoes from Boscoreale: The Villa of Plubius Fannius Synistor in Reality and Virtual Reality. Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York City, 2010.

Peter Otto. Multiplying Worlds: Romanticism, Modernity, and the Emergence of Virtual Reality. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2011.

Posted by Jean Marie Carey

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