Your art journey begins in the virtual 3D Hub-lounge of the Genshagen Foundation. Here all visitors meet virtually at a meeting point in the virtual hub room. From this meeting point in the virtual lounge, your avatar (your artificial and digital representation in the virtual world) can visit all showrooms that are publicly accessible. Within the context of the German EU Council Presidency 2020, events of the Genshagen Foundation on “Culture and Sustainability – a Creative Exchange in Europe” will also take place at certain times in the virtual 3D Hub-Gallery. The program can be found on the website: www.kultur-und-nachhaltigkeit.eu/en/
Admission to the virtual exhibition rooms
To enter the virtual 3D Hub-lounge of the Genshagen Foundation, you must first enter the room. To do so, click on the button “Enter Room”.Then click on “Choose Device”. Here you select whether you want to enter the room using VR-glasses or via your desktop (computer screen). If you want to start the virtual art journey via your PC screen, select “Enter on Screen”.
Listening and speaking
Since you will be able to communicate with other people or avatars in the lounge and the gallery via audio at any time, you have to decide which audio setup you prefer. To do this, click on the button “Enter Now”.
Now you can use the microphone icon located in the toolbar at the top of the screen to select whether or not other people in the room can hear you. If the microphone icon is crossed out, other avatars in the room cannot hear you via audio. If your microphone is on (icon not crossed out), you can talk about the art with other interested people. If you wish to talk but want to leave your microphone off, you can use the chat function (see Chapter: Chat communication and additional features)
By the way, another person (avatar) talking is visually represented by an alternating flaring – like a resonance box. As you approach other avatars, you also hear them better and louder. If you move in a different direction, the speaker’s voice will slowly fade away. The same principle is also possible with videos (set up screens). However, you can still use icons like plus and minus ( + and – ) to adjust the volume while you move your cursor across the video.
Move, view, navigate
Now your avatar is live and in the lounge. From here you can now explore the virtual space. To move from A to B, use the arrow keys on your keyboard or W (forward), A (left to the side), S (backward), D (right to the side).
As you navigate from one location to the next, you must also adjust your line of sight using your mouse. Keep the left mouse button pressed and move the mouse in the direction you physically (virtually) want to move. Using the mouse pad on your laptop, you can also navigate in the respective viewing direction by clicking and holding the pad. Meanwhile you stroke your finger across the pad. So press and move your finger across the pad simultaneously.
You can then choose the direction in which you look and where in the room you want to “walk” or “fly”.
If you want to move faster, press the shift key. As soon as you press the letter “G” on your keyboard, you can also fly in the lounge or gallery. This mode is useful if you want to look at the virtual landscape from above, or if art can be found in higher places.
Choose an avatar
To add an individual touch to your art journey through the virtual 3D Hub-gallery of the Genshagen Foundation and to be it visible for friends in the virtual space at the same time, you can select which avatar should represent you at the beginning while you are in the lounge. A selection of different avatars can be found directly at the meeting point in the lounge. They stand on small platforms and can be clicked. Confirm your selection by targeting and clicking on “Use Avatar”.
You can (should) also give your avatar a name. In the upper left corner of your screen you will see a round icon with three dashes. Click on it and enter your name in the textbox, which can be found underneath the button “Set Name and Avatar”. Using this function you can also see which avatar you selected. This is a representation of your physical identity in the virtual hub space.
Chat-communication and Additional functions
Since you are now virtually present and familiar with all the important features, you are now free to explore the exhibition on “Culture and Sustainability – a Creative Exchange in Europe”. Now, you can also use the chat feature. The grey bar at the bottom of the screen features a box where you can write your text. To make your text visible to everyone (!!!), click on the small arrow to the right within the search bar and your text will appear in the chat.
In order to achieve immersive and lifelike communication even as an avatar within the virtual art space, you can also share emotions with others on the spot. An emoticon preview can be displayed by holding down the space bar and the respective emotional picture background for your conversation with another exhibition visitor can begin. If you want to signal your attention to someone, you can click on the waving hands (hand symbol). Your avatar will start to spray small hands which can be seen by everyone who is at your location in the hub room.
One additional icon in the top right corner of the screen lets you see who is currently present in the hub-room besides yourself. If you activate the button with the abstract group of figures, you will see all the names of the avatars who visit the Lounge and Gallery with you in real time. The number behind the motif also shows how many people are currently active in the room.
Enjoy meeting other visitors and friends as you explore the virtual art space of the Genshagen Foundation under the German EU Council Presidency 2020.