Special Preview: First Look: Artists' VR

The New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Thu Jan, 12 2017, 7PM - 9PM

New Museum and Rhizome present a conversation in conjunction with “First Look: Artists’ VR,” an exhibition of newly commissioned works for mobile virtual reality. At this special event, a selection of artists participating in “First Look: Artists’ VR”—Jeremy Couillard, Jayson Musson, Peter Burr, Rachel Rossin, and Jacolby Satterwhite—will demonstrate their works and reflect on the distinct possibilities and challenges of working with the medium. Courtesy of a partnership with Google Arts & Culture, Cardboards will be distributed to attendees as complimentary gifts.

The commissioned works in “First Look: Artists’ VR” present experimental approaches to digital animation in virtual reality. They include a memorial to victims of police violence (Musson); an uncanny scenario of deconstructed video game characters (Rossin); a queer fantasia set in an industrial nightclub (Satterwhite); the journey of a solitary woman through an unfolding labyrinth (Burr, with Porpentine); a simulation of the afterlife (Couillard); and an unsettling dive into an alternate world rife with avatars both banal and magical (Rafman).

About First Look Established in 2012 and co-organized by New Museum and Rhizome, First Look is a digital art commissioning and exhibition program that has supported over thirty-five works to date. While the program has previously focused on browser-based art, First Look: Artists’ VR presents a group exhibition in the form of a mobile VR app developed by Eevo. This first-of-its-kind initiative from an art museum seeks to elevate VR in an artistic context as a rich emerging medium whose possibilities are still being tested and harnessed.


Leadership funding for First Look: Artists’ VR commissions is provided by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

First Look is made possible with support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Rhizome public programs are made possible, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. 

Cover Image: Jacolby Satterwhite, Domestika, 2017 (still). VR work, sound, color; 15:24 min. Courtesy the artist