Art & Culture

Lifesize virtual Berlin wall or "Virtuelle Mauer" at the Max Mueller Bhavan

Tamiko Theil and Teresa Reuter have brought their high-end skills as 3D artist & architect, combined with experiencing the physical Berlin wall to unveil a mammoth installation “Virtuelle Mauer” or Virtual Wall.

 A 3d representation of the Berlin Wall for Virtuelle mauer. A 3d representation of the Berlin Wall for Virtuelle mauer.

Tamiko Theil is an American living in Germany for the past 20 years and her partner Teresa studied architecture in the time of the wall architect who has studied and is living in Berlin from the time of the wall. “My world is the interactive 3d world especially for younger people who were born after the wall and really didn’t get a chance to see the wall and what it did. As it was in the 80’s, 70’s,  60’s and the Virtuelle Mauer really gives  a feeling of what it was to really have a military fortified border in the middle of the city, diving a major city into two halves.”
Berlin is the largest city of Germany with a population of 3.5 million which for Germany is huge”, says Tamiko, So up until the end of the what, the allies, Russians, Americans, English and the French, divided, the Germany and also Berlin which turned into east and west… communist and capitalist. 

This set up to experience the Installation of the Virtual Berlin WallThis set up to experience the Installation of the Virtual Berlin Wall

The exhibit has two parts. The  information panels for people who are interested in the history, facts, maps, figures, and then the other part is the immersive installation where the focus is on what u can see, hear, what it feels like when u walk around, because of the life-size nature of the installation. “so your body kinestheics sense is engaged so you can practically measure the wall with your body.”

“Even for Germans, young Germans the significance of the NATO and the Warsaw pact, communism and capitalism is being forgotten. The people alive at the time, people were deciding who to align with. Berlin was an island of East Germany. The entire outline of Berlin, the information of why the East German government thought it was necessary to build the wall and how this affected young well-educated people, who left East to go to West, because they felt under the communist system they were not getting enough opportunity," says the artist in statement of the vision and purpose for creating this virtual reality with the Berlin Wall

Virtual Guards barring entry or a cross over from East into WestVirtual Guards barring entry or a cross over from East into West

For decades the Berlin Wall has been a symbol of repression which displayed the abject division of not just Germany but Europe and the rest of the world into two vastly opposed political systems. East German government, 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, which 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 it had been removed. And people who did not really experience it, would not fully be able to fathom truly the implications of the wall, which is just what the team of Tamiko and Teresa have hoped to achieve.

. In the virtual reality artwork “Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall” the artist team Tamiko and Theresa 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.” This project was developed in close collaboration with the Berlin Wall Memorial Concept of the Berlin Senate Chancellary for Cultural Affairs.

Virtual tourists through whom the experince unfoldsVirtual tourists through whom the experince unfolds

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 Theory and Practice, whose work is strongly influenced by years of experience living with the Wall and dealing with the urban development of Berlin since the Fall of the Wall.

This will be on display at the Max Mueller Bhavan on CMH Road until the January 24th. 
The Virtuelle Mauer is on display since the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall across the Globe and has now been brought to India, with its unveiling in Bangalore at the Goethe Institut. This installation will travel to other parts of the world. It was also the  Winner of 2009 IBM Innovation Award for Artistic Creation in Art and Technology at Boston Cyberarts Festival (venue Goethe-Institut Boston)

Tags: berlin, germany, virtuelle mauer, virtual wall, east germany west, tamiko theil, teresa reuters, virtual reality, 3d installtion

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