I am floating in some colorful cosmic realm, watching couples fornicate on a merry-go-round. I am soaring above a massive steampunk space machine seemingly powered by muscular men chained to treadmills. Club music thumps through my ears, and this action-packed world streams by as if I’m watching a very strange but sexy music video. But I have more freedom as a viewer here, as I’m inside “Domestika” (2017), a virtual reality artwork by Jacolby Satterwhite that allows me to observe this realm in 360 degrees.
“Domistika” is one of six VR works in the New Museum’s online-only exhibition First Look: Artists’ VR,recently launched with Rhizome. According to the museum, the show represents the “first-of-its-kind initiative from an art museum,” and arrives at a time when VR feels pretty ubiquitous but is still exciting, with the technology still evolving. While previous artworks in the First Look series, launched in 2012, have all existed in browser form, these six are accessible as a free, mobile VR app for iOS and Android.
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