VR Premiere: Walking through the Walls

11 Oct 2019

On Friday, 11 October at 15.00, Mediamatic will host the world premiere of the video Walking through the Walls (40’ VR 360° ambisonic). The video is part of the project Hic sunt dracones by the artist Francesco Bertelé, curated by Chiara Pirozzi and promoted by the Fondazione Made in Cloister.

Free Entrance


Invitation flyer -

Hic sunt dracones is the product of a long and complex research project carried out by Francesco Bertelé over several years. Since 2018, it has included an exploring performance carried out by the artist and his team: a sideways climb along the northern cliff of an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

The artist mapped this endeavour using advanced digital technologies, with the aim of completely retaining the real experience. The video Walking through the Walls will be the focus of the presentation at Mediamatic and can be viewed with Oculus GO and MEZE AUDIO headphones, to experience it in a collective immersive way. The video is completed by a soundtrack composed by the musician Bienoise and meant to create a physical and tangible link between the artist, his experience and the performance acting on the end-user.

In Hic sunt dracones, Francesco Bertelé explores and experiences what has been termed the “the spectacle of the border” (P. Cutitta). He investigates the political theatre that plays out in border zones, placing the human body/actor in the middle of a stage/performance. In order to construct and inhabit unexplored spaces, the artist unbalances its psychophysical limits and perpendicularity, starting from the cognitive perceptions of each one of us.

The action taken by the artist, poised between the sky and the sea on a rocky coast that geologically belongs to the African plate but is politically European, becomes an individual and unique journey, both in Amsterdam and at the exhibition at the Museo MADRE in Naples. The newest technologies in Virtual and Augmented Reality merge with connotations created by developing themes like border geopolitics, the manipulation of information and digital error as a gap between physical and altered reality. The outcome is a disconnect between present time and experience and a sensorial distortion in hybrid and overstimulated environments, where crossing over the threshold of the certain can occur.

Francesco Bertelé’s research in Hic sunt dracones is energised with theoretical insight by authors who have written critical essays in the artist’s book. It is formalised in the experimental use of digital technologies and in the creation of an environmental installation, through a collaboration between the artist and the FabLab Recipient..Cc . The strongly dematerialised nature of this installation – able to redefine the space of vision, models of use and narrative experiences in a revolutionary way (S. Arcagni) – is created through interaction with the individual, the only tool that can activate the work.

Project made possible by the support of the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity and Urban Regeneration of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, as part of the Italian Council Project, 4th Edition, 2018.

The complete film will be viewable on the official YouTube channel starting at 3 pm on 11 October 2019