Oproep 3: Digitaal werken in de kunsten

Grasp: Bringing Virtual Worlds within Reach

Naar welke uitdagingen voor digitaal werken in de kunsten gaat je interesse uit?

I am interested in how digital spaces are shaped by a privileged few and inhabited by many. This is the case for virtual reality, video games, and other digital spaces that use avatars. The people who develop these spaces are highly skilled, rarely present, and others are subject to their vision. How can we put the tools of shaping virtuality into the hands of artists without intense training?

Waarom wil je graag deelnemen aan deze oproep?

This call supports two main pillars in my work: transdisciplinary collaboration between the arts and sciences and democratizing the virtual and big data. I have recently developed research with tech companies specialized in AI, 3D scanning, and data visualization. I want to give this research a form that empowers artists, designers, and myself to create virtual worlds with our hands. My interest is inspired by my own recent experience creating the artwork “Stock Weather,” a miniature desert landscape sculpted by changes in the global economy. Informed by these experiences, I want to develop a tool which allows for a sculptural creation of digital landscapes through 3D scanning. This opportunity would develop and finance this tool, then to be shared and used during a series of workshops, online talks, and as the digital environments that result. As an artist, I am very personally invested in how complex virtual modeling could be made available as a sculptural and material process for myself and the public.

Hoe kan jouw werk met deze uitdagingen een impact hebben op de fairness en duurzaamheid van de kunsten van Vlaanderen en Brussel?

Instead of one unknown person making a world which everyone else is confined to, people can actively shape digital worlds for themselves and others. This project would be developed through a series of online and in-person workshops and demos in Brussels and Flanders and incorporate feedback. From my experience making public art in Brussels, I would solicit participation from artists and non-artists of all ages allowing for unusual encounters. How can we avoid repeating the history of colonization of the physical world in the virtual one? The tool would allow for a “switch” in which the inhabitants and designers can change roles. The low-cost kit would make this tool accessible to many in Flanders and beyond, allowing artists to create a digital environment by sculptural techniques familiar to many. It is for those wanting to work digitally but without the budget to hire programmers and unable to invest in learning code. It also allows for a greater digital literacy and democratization of technology in Flanders.


Haseeb Ahmed, studio@haseebahmed.com, +32465565240 Avenue Louis Bertrand 16 1030 Schaarbeek, Belgium