For decades the Berlin Wall was a symbol of repression and of the division of Germany, Europe and indeed the entire world into two politically opposing systems. For the East German government, that built the Wall to prevent its own citizens from fleeing to the West, it was the “anti-fascist protective barrier.” For the West German government, that refused to officially recognize its existence, it was an “unlawful” consequence of the East-West conflicts of the Cold War.
Only a year after the fall of the Wall in November 1989, almost all traces of the Wall had been removed. As the premiere symbol of the division of the world into two opposing political systems, people in both East and West Berlin wanted to eliminate the Wall as quickly as possible. For those who did not experience the Wall themselves, the effects of this structure on Berlin’s urban space, and on the political and sociological divisions engendered by this “Wall in people heads,” are not comprehensible today.
In the virtual reality artwork Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall the artist team T+T has rebuilt part of this historically significant structure in a virtual space, depicting its physical, political and social effects on life “in the shadow of the Wall.” The principles of T+T are: Tamiko Thiel, an American VR (virtual reality) artist, internationally known for her use of VR technology to create socially critical artworks; and Teresa Reuter, a Berlin architect and 3D artist with metroGap–Association for Urban.
Institutions involved :
Berlin Senate Chancellary for Cultural Affairs, GERMANY, link
Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital City Cultural Fund of Berlin), GERMANY, link
Berlin Wall Documentation Center, GERMANY, link
Museum for Communication in Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany State Department, GERMANY, link
Goethe-Institut Boston, USA, link
Dr. John Czaplicka, PhD – Harvard University Center for European Studies, Massachusetts, USA, link
Institute of Technology – Center for Advanced Visual Studies, metroGap e.V. – Association for Urban Theory and Practice, Bitmanagement Systems and JSC Softline/Ukraine, link