Endodrome is the first virtual reality artwork by pioneering artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Officially invited to the main exhibition of the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia “May You Live in Interesting Times” curated by Ralph Rugoff, this VR environment is on view at the Arsenale from May 11 to November 24, 2019. This year’s Biennale features numerous artworks made using digital technologies, demonstrating growing recognition of works made using VR, AR, AI and other digital mediums.
The artwork title is derived from the Greek word endon, meaning ‘internal’, and dromos, meaning ‘running, race track’, Endodrome continues Gonzalez-Foerster’s exploration of notions of space, alternative states of consciousness, and interiority. Presented in a staged environment, Endodrome can be experience by up to five people at once, with its theatrical setting suggesting the experience of a séance, incorporating sound, light, and projections of the visions that viewers experience via the VR headsets. The eight-minute experience begins by immersing viewers in a hypnotic, monochrome environment, before moving into an abstract visual space, in which bright color fields shift in response to the gaze and breath. The artwork draws on the artist’s experience of sound-induced cognitive trance with musician and author Corine Sombrun, who collaborated with the artist to create an accompanying soundscape.
Renowned for her experimental approaches to art making, Gonzalez-Foerster is best known for conceptual installations and video projections that draw on film, literature, architecture, and art history. Her genre-defying interdisciplinary practice has also extended to photography, design and live performances. As an early adopter of multimedia and experimental technologies, this first foray into the medium of virtual reality with Endodrome is a natural extension of Gonzalez-Foerster’s practice.
Image: Dominique Gonzalez -Foerster, Endodrome, virtual reality environment, 2019. Courtesy the artist and HTC VIVE Arts. Photo by Andrea Rossetti.