A virtual reality lab for man and machine



Bauhaus is 100 years old! As a laboratory of modernity, Bauhaus has developed innovations, experiments and new forms in the visual arts, architecture and design, theatre, dance, photography, performing arts and teaching. 100 years later we ask how artists today – as modern and radical as ever – can combine their visions of architecture, art and design and present them to the public.

For the occasion, the Interactive Media Foundation has developed four innovative formats, three of which will celebrate their premiere in January 2019 as part of the official opening festival. For example, the interactive virtual reality installation Das Totale Tanz Theater. It was 100 years ago that artistic research and experimentation on the topic of humans and machines was first undertaken in stage workshops at the historic Bauhaus. Inspired by Oskar Schlemmers stage experiments and Gropius ideas of a Total Theater, an interdisciplinary team under the leadership of the Interactive Media Foundation created a virtual world that invites visitors to interact with digital dancing figures. Fitted out with VR goggles and a controller, visitors embark on a thrilling journey through multiple levels of a vast, virtual stage space. For a duration of ten minutes, the relationship between humans and machines is experienced in a completely new way by means of joint dance in digital dimensions.

Das Totale Tanz Theater enables an integrated, immediate experience thanks to the interplay between the different arts and state of the art digital technology. Based on the Interactive Media Foundation’s idea and dramaturgy, the choreographer Richard Siegal has developed a piece of choreography that utilises body scanning and motion capture procedures to digitalise, being rearranged for the three-dimensional space. The experts at Artificial Rome took care of design of the scenography and costumes, along with the technical realisation. The dramaturgy is sustained by electronic music by the composer Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch.

Das Totale Tanz Theater 360

Based on the interactive virtual reality installation Das Totale Tanz Theater, and in partnership with the TV channel ZDF/ARTE, the Interactive Media Foundation has developed Das Totale Tanz Theater 360. During the around six-minute long 360° video, viewers are immersed into the elaborately designed virtual stage world, along with Richard Siegal’s choreography and a song created especially for the video by Einstürzende Neubauten.


A mechanistic/digital universe of sound in 12 tracks. The important ideas originating from the Bauhaus subsequently came to exert a decisive influence in the areas of music and sound: Immersion, equality of the artistic disciplines, a solid understanding of the material as well as focusing on a modern mechanical philosophy in which the position of humans must be redefined. In AUDIO.SPACE.MACHINE, these ideas are redefined for the present day by the artists wittmann/zeitbloom, and translated to the form of a concept album; acoustically, in terms of content, but also on the technical level of sound design.

Back in 2016, the nationwide Minecraft competition Baukraft enabled young people from Berlin’s Gropiusstadt area to design their environment to make it more worth living in.

The installation ‘Das Totale Tanz Theater’ can be experienced for the first time in January 2019 at the Academy of Arts, Berlin before it embarks on an international tour. Further stopping off points in Germany are the ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

After its premiere, Das Totale Tanz Theater 360 will be able to be experienced via the ARTE 360° platform.

AUDIO.SPACE.MACHINE was realised in cooperation with the Interactive Media Foundation, the bauhaus 100 festival and the radio stations Deutschlandfunk, NDR and WDR. An expanded radio edition will be broadcast in these stations’ acoustic arts programmes.

Previsualisations & Sketches © Artifical Rome / Interactive Media Foundation.

DAS TOTALE TANZ THEATER is supported by ‘Fonds Bauhaus heute’, the German federal government’s cultural foundation and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

According to our academic and artistic appraisal, this project combines the experimentation of the historical Bauhaus with the artistic means of expression of the 21st century, and in unparalleled fashion.

Claudia Perren, Director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

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