In a Berlin gallery, the future is now — or at least, a version of it. VIVE Arts and Esther Schipper have unveiled “Metaone,” a new immersive art experience by Ben Elliot that explores the intersection of technology, design, and human interaction in a metaverse-inspired setting. The exhibit, which runs from November 3 to December 2, invites visitors to don virtual reality headsets and step into a multi-faceted digital world that challenges conventional notions of space, art, and reality.
At the heart of “Metaone” is an extended reality (XR) project that Elliot has crafted to redefine how we engage with creative spaces. The experience is divided into four distinct environments, each accessible via VIVE’s VR headset. The first, dubbed SHAPE, serves as a forum for conversations about future architecture and web3 aesthetics. The second, DEEP, plunges viewers into a surreal exploration of data and artificial intelligence. INFINITE, the third area, celebrates the boundless potential of generative software, while the final space, ZEN, offers a peaceful sanctuary designed to promote well-being.
But the VR experience is just one element of “Metaone.” The physical space also features a curtain work and a printed tapestry, both of which draw from the metaverse aesthetics of SHAPE. Elliot employs these curtains as both standalone artworks and as dividers that segment the room. A short film, also titled “Metaone,” is displayed on a table with an inset monitor, serving as both an introduction to the VR experience and a standalone artwork.
Adding to the exhibit’s interactive nature is the Xchair, a long chair designed for extended reality use. Made from 3D-printed recycled polymer, the chair embodies the exhibit’s focus on environmental sustainability. Whether visitors are working on a computer, reading, or simply relaxing, the Xchair aims to offer a glimpse into a future where digital and physical realities coalesce.
“Having worked with artists in all mediums for the last 40 years, developing a collaboration in virtual reality was a fascinating process,” said Olivier Renaud-Clément, the organizer of “Metaone.” Celina Yeh, Executive Director of VIVE Arts, echoed this sentiment, stating that the project aligns with VIVE Arts’ mission to empower artists to utilize cutting-edge technologies.
As the lines between the digital and physical worlds continue to blur, “Metaone” serves as both a reflection of our current technological landscape and a vision of what’s to come. It’s not just an art exhibit; it’s a question posed to its visitors: What kind of future do you want to inhabit?