Maxim Zhestkov’s London studio is an emporium for the long term. Situated in the W1 Curates developing, it has every little thing a digital artwork pioneer could dream of: a large ground-ground space with flooring-to-ceiling screens, numerous recording studios to meet up with each individual sonic need, and a enormous warehouse floor-turned-VR playground. It’s in this article, even though easily rooted on earth Earth, that Zhestkov hands me a VR headset, sends me to a various planet, and proceeds to rewire anything I considered I realized about art galleries.
This unearthly space is ‘Modules’, Zhestkov’s new playground for electronic artwork. Mixing sculpture, architecture, film and audio, in this cavernous bespoke museum for the artist’s get the job done, viewers are not viewers but contributors.
‘Modules’ by Maxim Zhestkov: artwork fulfills gaming
Zhestkov’s exercise orbits all-around how in electronic place, we can abandon the logic of truth, and grow to be liberated from its constraints. Gaming has been a long-phrase preoccupation for the artist, who grew up in Ulyanovsk, Russia, and researched architecture and graphic structure at Ulyanovsk Point out College. ‘Gaming platforms have normally been a supply of fascination for me, and their potential for developing immersive and fascinating artwork is typically underrated,’ claims the artist, whose collaborators selection from Google, PlayStation, Adobe, Nokia, Adidas and BMW, to art platforms and galleries these kinds of as W1 Curates, exactly where Zhestkov exhibited previous 12 months, and Unit London, where he will unveil a solo clearly show upcoming thirty day period. ‘As I delved into the captivating worlds of gaming and artwork, I recognised that they ended up generally perceived as distinctive realms, evolving independently of just one a different. Having said that, I couldn’t aid but notice the boundless potential that lay at their intersection.’
In the up to date art entire world, the word ‘immersive’ is utilized to practically anything involving a screen and a soundtrack. ‘Modules’ is submersive taking overall body and brain through an 11-place community of room-age staircases, ledges, lifts and corridors, navigated by pinching your (real-entire world) fingers. Your earthbound physique flinches as Zhestkov’s monumental sculptures sail earlier your encounter, practically squash you, and bend, dissolve, and warp close to you. They are hyperreal digital simulations that mirror actual-environment physics, midway involving the gaming universe and genuine-world museum working experience.
‘Modules’, which has been launched with Finnish digital truth company Varjo, is an evolving job, increasing to include Zhestkov’s full human body of get the job done as it grows, blurring the boundaries involving artwork, game titles, and reality and carving a new house for artwork in the metaverse.
Zhestkov’s mission for Modules is not modest he hopes it’s the to start with phase in ‘revolutionising the planet of art’, in a fusion of art, technology, and human creativity. ‘With “Modules”, my immersive VR artwork place/gallery, I have designed a exclusive system that permits me to convey my creative imagination, push the boundaries of artistic exploration, and redefine the future of artistic experiences.’
Modules is currently obtainable to knowledge free of cost on the platforms Steam and Oculus. ‘I will include new rooms and installations, each very carefully designed to challenge the typical norms of artistic expression’, states Zhestkov. ‘It is my firm belief that artwork really should be obtainable to all, and in pursuit of this ideal, I am energized to announce that soon, “Modules” will be accessible to absolutely everyone, free. This endeavour aims to democratise the world of electronic artwork, inspiring numerous folks to interact with and contribute to this at any time-increasing universe.’
Zhestkov will unveil a solo display at Device London from 20 June – 22 July 2023. unitlondon.com