VR Project "Virtuelle Mauer / ReConstructing the Wall"

The virtual reality artwork “Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall” investigates the impact of the Berlin Wall, which divided West and East Berlin during the Cold War from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989. A digital reconstruction of a segment of the dismantled Berlin Wall and its surrounding neighborhoods creates a place of rememberance that users can explore in order to to experience and reflect on this historical time.

Our project area, between the West Berlin district Kreuzberg and the East Berlin district Mitte, stretches from the former border crossing at Heinrich-Heine-Strasse to the Engelbecken Park. We researched the historical, sociological and urban conditions, and interviewed people who lived in our project area during the time of the Wall, in order to understand how the Wall's presence and the constant possibility of escape attempts influenced everyday life for residents. This formed the basis for our interactive 3D installation, in which we utilize dramatic techniques of virtual reality such as simulation, animation, interaction and time travel to bring this history to life.

The interactive 3D installation is set primarily in the mid-1980s, but in certain locations we travel back to the 1960s or forward into the present time. You, as the user of the 3D installation, navigating through the virtual world with a simple joystick, trigger these time travels through your own movements and choices, weaving your own particular web of everyday stories and historical events from the time of the Wall. You are the protagonist - in the role of a normal resident who has to live with the Wall. Are you in East Berlin or West Berlin? Your own actions decide where you are - just as they would have on the day the Wall was built.

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> Introduction
Artist Team T+T