DKB VR Art Prize

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Nominated for VR ART PRIZE 2023


Anan Fries

Anan Fries is a digital and performing artist. They spent many years as the artistic director of the game-theater collective machina eX, which is known for its immersive, gamified experiences. In addition, Fries is a co-founder of Henrike Iglesias, an experimental performance collective with a strong love for pop and politics.


They explore correlations between technology and what we regard as “nature” and “natural.” Fries is interested in the question of how technologies can make it possible to experience queer perspectives, and in how to conceive of virtual and physical spaces more closely. Fries’s works are made at the intersection between digital and representative arts. In 2021, in cooperation with the sound artist Malu Peeters, Fries created VIRTUAL WOMBS, a hybrid of a VR experience and live performance, and [POSTHUMAN WOMBS], a VR essay that has been seen at the IDFA DocLab in Amsterdam, DOK Leipzig, GIFF Geneva, Konsthall C in Stockholm, and elsewhere.


Fries’s latest work RIP – Resurrect in Peace, first seen in April at the HAU Berlin, is funeral for an extinct bird in the format of an interactive video installation.


© Portrait Anan Fires by Hairygaze

[Posthuman Wombs], 2022

[Posthuman Wombs] is a gentle journey into an immersive landscape inhabited by pregnant people, called “posthumans.” Nature and technology are not opposites here but directly linked to each other. [Posthuman Wombs] is Anan Fries’s exploration of a non-binary pregnancy and the desire to find community in otherness. The “posthumans” living in the landscape are virtual versions of people who are connected to the theme of pregnancy through either art or activism. Three dimensional scans of them were taken and then digitally impregnated. The work questions common norms and role models, speculating about a possible future in which pregnancy is a technological hack that can be applied to all bodies.


[Posthuman Wombs] is a gentle journey into an immersive landscape inhabited by pregnant people who are not only female. Here, in this fictional, speculative world, bodies and gender are not binary but manifold. In this utopia, new technologies make it possible for different bodies to become pregnant. Nature and technology are not opposites but united with each other. The piece creates a new perspective of pregnancy in our society, above all, taking into consideration the possibilities for a freer and more just way of living. It speculates about a potential future in which all bodies can become pregnant.