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Digital Painting: How VR Research at Chemnitz University of Technology Makes Art an Experience

Starting August 12, 2021, Chemnitz will once again become a hotspot for art fans with the four-day Begehungen art festival - Thanks to VR, the Chair of Production Systems and Processes at Chemnitz University of Technology will give visitors interactive access to the work of a New York artist

At the Begehungen festival in Chemnitz, art meets lost places and international artists meet spaces that they can design. This year, the Begehungen festival is taking place at the old freight station Altendorf. The 18th Begehungen will take place there from August 12 to 15, 2021. One of the artists working there is the Polish-born and currently New York-based artist Agata Oleksiak – better known to connoisseurs as “Olek”.

She gained international fame through her colorful, crocheted sculptures and installations - and thus this year art also meets science. Because in the context of a cooperation with the Professorship of Production Systems and Processes (Head: Prof. Dr. Martin Dix) at Chemnitz University of Technology, her works are not only to be seen and felt, but also experienced in 3D. For this purpose, Olek has designed a virtual reality artwork together with the researchers Christian Fuchs and Sven Winkler from Chemnitz University of Technology.

Their artwork is a kind of colored structure floating in space, crocheted and woven, created by digital painting and with the help of the Tilt Brush VR software. Thanks to the university’s mobile VR system “move” , visitors can not only see the structures, but also fly through them.

Put simply, VR technology makes it possible to visualize shapes and structures - based on CAD data, for example. This creates simulations and designs for production engineering, among other applications, that give a realistic impression. "We create immediate access to Olek's world with our mobile virtual reality system moVE," explains Sven Winkler, research associate at the Chair of Production Systems and Processes. "In addition to our research work, we are also pleased to be able to show art in virtual space for once and to support the future European Capital of Culture in its cultural activities," says Christian Fuchs, also a research associate.

The collaboration with the makers of the Begehungen art festival, initiated by the chair of Ergonomics and Innovation Management, is intended to form the basis for further lighthouse projects in the coming years.

Background: Begehungen - four-day cultural festival

The Chemnitz art festival Begehungen is all about using art to make forgotten places new and different experiences. Since 2003, the Begehungen with constantly changing locations inspire art fans from Chemnitz and the region.

This year, the art festival brings 20 artists from all over the world to Chemnitz with the title Leerzeit. Among others, in 2021 concepts from Colombia, South Korea, and Mexico were submitted.

This year's festival program includes more than 30 program items, including lectures, guided tours, panel discussions, readings, performances, concerts, the traditional closing film screening - and an art-science installation by Chemnitz University of Technology.

This year's Begehungen will open on Thursday at 4 pm. For more information on the program: https://www.begehungen-chemnitz.de.

(Author: Isabel Möller / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes

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