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VR, future art and contextual conservation in Fribourg

Fernando Cwilich Gil is one of those extraordinary and rare artists, who can sell liquid money as paint commodity or trick an iphone into turning photos to artworks with the flash of his wrist. Today he is one of two co-founders of Ruse Laboratories, based in California. Ruse Labs has been developing algorithms for VR and immersive interventions for four years now. From knockout impromptu pieces at ArtBasel in Miami, to generating the first acclaimed algorithm auction at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City 2015, Ruse is changing the way we perceive art.

Fernando's recent visit to Fribourg marks a further step on our collaboration. Having provided me with the tools to create virtual worlds and structure non- lineal narrative through it, we are now organising bespoke events to share this experience. The Fountain is the first edition of 10 to set the pace, as a first Xocolat & Ruse Laboratories collaboration, now in creation. However, we are now in development of several appointments, including ALGO in Fribourg, an international encounter to be held during summer 2019, to the tone of Performance, Immersion, Conservation and Fondue.

There is much to say about Fribourg's history with immersive arts. Symposiums and performances have been dealing with this for over a decade, including leading artists invited to share their work at this small medieval city.

Ruse Laboratories works close to the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, pioneering into digital conservation. Fernando is also a leading figure into technology and method for contextual conservation. A token of his experience that we will also put to work in one of the most well preserved medieval cities in Europe.

The basse ville of Fribourg sits on a pronounced quoin of the Sarine river surrounded by a hundred meter high cliff walls. A settlement since neolithic era, the city was founded in 1157 by Berthold IV, Duke of Zähringen. A short walk about the basse ville will clear you head from any doubt about its architectural and natural beauty. It is the epitome of picturesque, and has a quality of intimacy you usually relinquished to fiction. This is the backdrop for most of our current and future work here.

Yet what interests us most is the way narrative and experience confound towards new dimensions of art and storytelling. Time constraint narrative dissolves during immersion to a form unaccounted. As author Michael Nash suggests into evolving an open narrative: "The impulse to "narratize' experience is endemic to the structure of consciousness and takes root from our mortality. Every heart has a fixed number of beats, and that absolute rhythm propels the story of our lives from one perception to another, linking units of meaning in a finitude so that all roads lead to where we are." And "where we are" is exactly the point of every immersive experience.





For the mobility of creativity, established in Fribourg 2017.

Established in Ticino 2020.




INSTITUTION. State of the art or art of the state?


Help is on the way.


In the streets and grotos of Switzerland July to September 2023.

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