VR-artist and developer Ali Eslami and visual and video artist Mamali Shafahi are working together on NERD FUNK, a modular, pluridisciplinary project centred on an immersive VR experience dealing with five major contemporary themes. As members of the first post-internet, social media generation, they share a fascination for how new digital tools, and social media as an ephemeral phenomenon, influence today's digital culture and visual expressions. Approaching Instagram as an archive in 2018, they began to capture the Instagram Stories of over 700 people whose posts might be described as avant-garde, reflecting a distinctive new aesthetic. This archive of moving images, which continues to grow, forms the basis for NERD FUNK as a whole and feeds into the VR installation and experience, lecture performances, print publications, and so on.
With the first two chapters of the project Eslami and Shafahi won a Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival last September. During their three months guest residency at the Rijksakademie, they will create a new VR chapter to their project, focusing on nature and green issues, while simultaneously developing their concept of lecture performances.