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WORLD’S FIRST 3D PRINTED VIRTUAL REALITY ART TO BE SHOWCASED THROUGH COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS AND HTC VIVE™

ALUMNI AND STUDENTS ADHAM FARAMAWY, ELLIOT DODD AND JESSY JETPACKS FROM THE ROYAL ACADEMY SCHOOLS SPENT THREE MONTHS CREATING THE UNIQUE ARTWORKS WHICH WILL BE DISPLAYED TO THE PUBLIC FROM 11-14TH JANUARY 2017

London, UK – 1st November 2016-This January 2017, technology and art worlds will collide with the first ever 3D printed artworks created in virtual reality as part of an exclusive project between HTC Vive and the Royal Academy of Arts titled “Virtually Real”.

RA Schools alumni Adham Faramawy, Elliot Dodd and current final year student Jessy Jetpacks will create work using virtual reality platform HTC Vive. Offering an unrivalled experience due to its real-life graphics, HTC Vive lets you move around and interact in hundreds of virtual worlds with its innovative hand controllers and 360° room-scale tracking.

Aspects of each of the artists’ individual work will then be 3D printed for the first time as part of a display at the Royal Academy, where visitors will be able to experience these groundbreaking creations in both virtual and physical form.

In the virtual world each piece will be viewed using an HTC Vive – where visitors can walk through, over, under and around the artwork as it is created around them, fully immersing themselves in the virtual piece.

The project will showcase the potential of VR in the art world, where the physical limitations of gravity cease to exist and playback technology allows pieces to be experienced as they are created, as well as in their final physical forms.

Each artist involved in the project has a history of work involving virtual reality, apps and multimedia, however this will be the first time artwork created in virtual reality has been brought into the physical world through the medium of 3D printing and exhibited in a major global art institution.

Whilst viewing the final pieces, visitors will also be able to experience the making of each artwork which will be shown in virtual reality using an HTC Vive headset. Visitors can then try their own hand at creating masterpieces in VR using the same virtual reality programs used by the artists./p>

The pieces themselves will be created using a series of artistic software programmes including Tilt Brush by Google – an app which lets you paint in three-dimensional space with virtual reality and Kodon – a virtual 3D modelling tool. SuperHuge 3D printing will be used for the project which is a Hybrid Object Layer Manufacturing (OLM) 3D printing technology.

Mark Hampson, Head of Fine Art Processes, Royal Academy Schools, said:

"As a 21st century art school the exciting emergence of new technologies for art production is paramount in our thinking at the RA Schools. We are delighted to be collaborating with HTC Vive on this innovative project, which will extend our knowledge into the relatively unchartered territories for works of art using virtual and digital means, offering us the chance to not only experiment with virtual head set technology but to become pioneers in the production of 3D sculptural forms created from virtually generated imagery. The artists selected for this collaboration represent an emerging generation who are perfectly equipped to investigate the possibilities for an art rooted in the virtual world. Their use of hybrid approaches, that utilise both traditional and future forms, enables them to manipulate technologies both with and against their intended commercial functions. The work they produce will signpost us to unexpected future creative outcomes and new universes of Artistic possibility, helping mould the identity of future art school creativity.”

Jon Goddard, Marketing Director (Europe), HTC Vive, said:

“This year sees virtual reality truly realising its potential and being used in a huge array of fields – from medical, to travel and also gaming. This collaboration shows VR’s future as an art form and we’re proud to partner with such an established institution as the Royal Academy to achieve this world first. We hope the project will allow visitors to see what can be achieved creatively when the virtual and physical worlds of art are combined, and hopefully be inspired themselves”.

Ticketing details will be announced in due course.

– Ends –


Artist biographies

Adham Faramawy (Alumni, RA Schools):
Adham Faramawy (1981) is a Dubai born, London based artist of Egyptian origin. His work spans media including moving image, sculptural installation and print, engaging and using technology to discuss issues of embodiment and identity construction.

Recent group exhibitions include The Green Ray, Wilkinson Gallery, London, E-Vapor-8, Site Gallery, Sheffield, London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London, I’m here but you’ve gone, Fiorucci Art Trust, London, Silica, Galerie Sultana, Paris, Half Abstract, DRAF, London, Post Pop to Post Human: Collage in the digital age, Hayward Touring. Solo exhibitions include Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition), Bluecoat, Liverpool, Hydra, Cell Projects, London, Feels Real, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam and Hyperreal Flower Blossom, VITRINE, London.

Faramawy’s video works have been included in screening events such as Flatness, Oberhausen Film Festival, Syndrome of a Decade, Ikono Film Festival, Diamond Dust- A shifting grammar of originality, Circa Projects, Edinburgh Arts Festival and 21st Century Pop at the ICA, London touring to Turner Contemporary, Margate, MK, Milton Keynes, Cornerhouse, Manchester and Tramway in Glasgow.

Elliot Dodd (Alumni, Fellow, RA Schools): 
Elliot Dodd (b.1978, Jersey, Channel Islands), previously studied at the Slade School of Art, London and graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2016. Dodd works with surfaces and techniques which embody the spirit of the global techno-macho-man. He designs sculptural objects, drawings and moving images that reconfigure the languages of desire, confidence and authority into a new fluid, composite structure.

Jessy Jetpacks (Final Year Student, RA Schools): 
Jessy Jetpacks (b. 1987, Dubai) is a London based multi-disciplinary artist. Her mediums include painting, sculpture, film, music, audio/video installations, and performance. Themes and interests range from the global political to the fundamental and private human condition – where advocacy, poetry, and philosophy become bedfellows. Subverting polemical binaries, Jetpacks explores these themes with sensitivity, finding humour and intrigue within the ouroboros-like metastructures, never wholly consistent or complete, which underpin any narrative of reality. Previously drawing on traditional handicrafts and use of found or recycled materials, current work uses the next generation of “poor” materials, riding the open-source highway into the uncanny valley with low-cost 3D printing, computer game engines, file sharing, and no budget video works.

Further information on HTC Vive
Vive is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform developed by HTC and Valve for total immersion in virtual worlds. Designed from the ground up for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions, Vive delivers on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content. Vive has been recognized with over 65 awards and wide critical acclaim since its unveiling in 2015. For more information, visit www.htcvive.com

About the Royal Academy Schools
The RA Schools, headed by the Keeper of the Royal Academy, Eileen Cooper RA, have been an integral part of the Royal Academy of Arts since its foundation in 1768 and is the longest established art school in the UK. The RA Schools offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe. Current Professors include Michael Landy RA, Chantal Joffe RA, Cathie Pilkington RA, Piers Gough RA, Humphrey Ocean RA, Gerald Libby, Tim Green and Roberto Cipolla.

Past students of the RA Schools include JMW Turner RA, William Blake and John Constable RA. More recent alumni include John Hoyland RA, Anthony Caro RA, Paul Huxley RA, Matthew Darbyshire, Rachael Champion, Toby Christian, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lucy Williams, Hannah Sawtell, Catherine Story, Prem Sahib and Eddie Peake. The Royal Academy Schools is sponsored by Newton Investment Management.

About the Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

The RA is undergoing a transformative redevelopment which will be completed in time for its 250th anniversary in 2018. Led by the internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield RA and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the plans will link Burlington House on Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens for the first time, uniting and revitalising the two-acre site. The redevelopment will also reveal the elements that make the RA unique, sharing with the public the historic treasures in its Collection, the work of its Academicians and the RA Schools, alongside its world-class exhibitions programme. For more information on the RA visit www.royalacademy.org.uk/ra250#video

About HTC
HTC Corporation aims to bring brilliance to life. As a global innovator in smart mobile devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC One and HTC Desire lines of smartphones. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile and virtual reality experiences for consumers around the world. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). www.htc.com