Enter New Babylon
A theatrical virtual and mixed reality installation
— 15 October 2022
Location: IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture
From 29 September till 15 October 2022 IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] in collaboration with Fondation Constant, presents the theatrical virtual and mixed reality installation Enter New Babylon.
Enter New Babylon is a virtual reality project, investigating the possibilities and limits of this future world. Put on your head set and step into that elusive world of New Babylon. It is the home of the Homo Ludens and was created by Dutch painter Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920–2005) in the sixties. Young, activist spoken word artists and designers reflect on New Babylon through virtual and mixed reality in a theatrical installation. Is it all that Constant dreamed of or has it turned into a nightmare?
Enter New Babylon is a mixed reality Installation with four experiences, where the audience can experience a contemporary reflection on New Babylon. With New Babylon Constant formulates his vision of the future. The project comprises a multitude of sketches, drawings, texts, models and constructions proposing a futuristic city in which the means of production becomes collective property and the nomadic, creative and playful human takes the center stage. The inhabitants are invited to discover and enact their playful human nature.
Video artist Dennis Molema has transformed Constant’s Grote gele sector (1967) into a digital 3D model to serve as a virtual location for Enter New Babylon. Originally, Grote gele sector is a three-dimensional scale model.
Six writers from Poetry Circle Nowhere spent three months working with five designers from the HKU. Led by Joris Weijdom of the HKU, they experimented with the possibilities of virtual and mixed reality and developed four completely different experiences, reflecting on New Babylon.
Can these young makers still dream of a future or does every dream turn into a dystopia under the weight of today’s challenges? This was the question with which Kim van der Horst, stepdaughter of the artist, director of Fondation Constant and initiator, started the project. The answer is four worlds, each with their own reflection on the future.
The experiences are Blooming New Babylon, Echoes of Oblivion, The Past of a Future City and We don’t want to fill our days with regrets.
Scenographer Guus van Geffen built an installation in which the visitor experiences the worlds and subsequently also becomes a spectator of other visitors who enter the VR worlds.
Enter New Babylon is a co-production of Constant 101 (Fondation Constant), Feikes Huis, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, Over het IJ Producties and Poetry Circle Nowhere.
Writers: Jasper Albinus, Steff Geelen, Roziena Salihu, Nabil Thkidousset, Nina Vermeulen, Luna Wicks
Designers: Emma Bourguignon, Juriaan Gregor, Morgan Henry, Bianca Lurvink, Aina Roca, René ‘t Hart
Design 3D model Grote gele sector: Dennis Molema
Artistic team: Pol Eggermont, Guus van Geffen, Kim van der Horst, Dennis Molema, Lisa Weeda
Advisor technical dramaturgy, coach concept development: Joris Weijdom
VR Designer: Frank Bosma
Scenography: Guus van Geffen
Sound Design: Jorg Schellekens
Production Leader: Leonie Baars
Location manager: Ruben Coers
This project is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten, Fonds 21, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Letterenfonds and Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst