Australian artists Daniel Stricker and Vincent Heimann selected for 17th Venice Architecture Biennale

DP IMMERSIVE today announce their inclusion in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale with the Virtual Reality (VR) work Shifting Homes by Australian artists Daniel Stricker and Vincent Heimann. The work is one of 10 Australian participants selected for the 2021 Venice Biennale confirmed to represent Australia and the Pacific, curated by Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway.

Global launches for Shifting Homes will occur simultaneously in New York (NewLab with OVR Technology), Apia SAMOA (Presented by the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa) and in Melbourne, Australia through the Australian Institute of Architects who will unveil Australia’s exhibit for Venice with INBETWEEN, also including Edition Office with artist Daniel Boyd on 20 May 2021.

Shifting Homes is an immersive, virtual journey to one possible future faced by the independent state of Samoa, a low-lying South Pacific country that’s particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. The work evokes empathy towards imminent climate change in the region by presenting a VR world of archaeological features and vanishing cultural histories, told through a past, present and future narrative.

Told from the perspective of the high chiefly family of Poutasi, Falealili district, southern coast of Upolu, specifically the Mayor of Poutasi and High Chief Joe Annandale. Mayor Seuseu delivers a personal story of his village, including the difficult motion to vacate their long held ancestral home. His emotional story is the backbone for the journey of Shifting Homes.

Artist statement:

“Rising sea levels threaten recent discoveries of ancient complex societies along the shorelines of Samoa. Featuring monumental earth platforms, enigmatic star mounds, stone pathways and walls extending many kilometres. Elevating ocean levels are now threatening to destroy these prehistoric sites and dislocate coastal communities. On the southern coast of Upolu in Samoa, we conducted remote sensing to find archaeological features, preserving vanishing cultural histories, and ultimately begin preparing local communities for further displacement.”

This information allowed us to bring the village to life within Virtual Reality, recreating its past and present in an immersive and vivid way. Vitally, the VR experience presents future outcomes for the village in regards to Climate Change. Through experiencing rising waters and further dramatic outcomes indicated through scientific data, Shifting Homes emphasises the urgency of this issue to outsiders.

Like many low lying-island regions, this Samoan village is currently dealing with climate change and its physical, mental and spiritual impacts. Our partner, The National University of Samoa, nominated this village as it is a traditional village on the Southern Coast that is not being protected in lieu of climate change, and is one of the first places to be affected by rising sea levels. It is also significant due to its ancient archaeological sites. It evokes not only the modern village life and connection to country, but traditional village life as well. The site extends into the virtual world, bringing to life its cultural and spiritual heart to connect with the outside world.”

Shifting Homes will be launched globally with the VR experiences across multi-player headsets and scent powered VR (OVR Technology) simultaneously in Australia, New York and Samoa aligning with the launch of the Venice Biennale’s Vernissage on the 20th of May.

In Australia, Creative Directors Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway will present Australia’s entry for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale and how it celebrates cultural diversity in various forms. The INBETWEEN exhibition will be hosted in Melbourne (due to international travel restrictions) and will showcase the Australian participants, exploring the power of architecture to build connections and understanding between First Nations cultures in Australia and the Pacific region.

Concurrently launching with the Venice Architecture Biennale, is the release of a Shifting Homes NFT artwork for sale powered by PoS Blockchain (most environmentally friendly) and completely carbon offset by ‘Offsetra’. Proceeds will be donated with a 50/50 split to the village of Poutasi and future DP IMMERSIVE social impact projects. Stricker and DP IMMERSIVE have previously ventured in the Social Impact NFT realm with ‘Petrogenesis’ featuring Jamie xx with sale proceeds donated to the community of Gunbalunya and ClientEarth.

As part of the Shifting Homes project, DP IMMERSIVE in partnership with ICDP, Ministry of Communications and Technology Samoa, National University Samoa announce a world first ‘Immersive Remote Learning’ program in the Pacific (Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji) teaching students VR, AR, NFT creation, photogrammetry, LiDar scanning and commercialisation, for a new ‘Global Village’ platform working with social impact experiences in new media. Participants in Samoa will be educated and empowered to create their own unique immersive experiences, the program launches simultaneously this month.

DP IMMERSIVE is in conversation with aligned partners for Shifting Homes to produce public facing events in Australia later in 2021 to be announced.

Shifting Homes Credits: Directed by Daniel Stricker and Vincent Heimann. Created with the village of Poutasi Samoa; High Chief Joe Annandale, Mayor Seuseu, and the National University of Samoa. Presented by ICDP, OVR Technology, SkyEye Samoa, DP Immersive. 3D artist Erel Herzog, Developer Dmitry Vereshchagin, VFX and development Vladimir Storm. Produced by Daniel Stricker.

View the trailer for Shifting Homes here:

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