Where Hyperreality and Digital Creation Came Together

Last summer, we exhibited Maria Mombers’ ‘Portal Park’ in the showroom, a place where the boundary between reality and illusion blurred, and online lives became hyperreality.

‘Welcome Back to Portal Park’ was a virtual residency organised by Maria Mombers and MaMA Rotterdam. From August 7 till August 27th a group of 9 artists, content creators and researchers with an interest in internet culture had access to a virtual studio space in Mozilla hubs in which they worked individually on a project which is now on show in the virtual Portal Park exhibition.
With living online a new form of creativity has been introduced: content creation. Through meme’s, GIF’s, TikTok’s and many more visual manifestions, we express ourselves and our creativity. Maria Mombers, CEO of Portal Park, strongly believes that some of the content we see online is not only ment for entertainment but are also great tools for self-expression and tell us a lot about the world we live in. In ‘Welcome Back to Portal Park’ Alexander Schmidt, Ezgi Aktug, Famke Immelmann, Franco Mamaril, Kexin Hong, Marina Prada Ramos, Ringailė Demšytė, Sabrina Lumer and Tosca Valentijn Hamel have been researching and redefining the term content creation by the help of activating assignments and inspirational sessions. In talks held by Lukas Völp, Nikola Scheibe, Abdo Hassan, Trevor Mcfedries, Pleun Gremmen and Noemi Biro the program touched upon topics like algorithms, Artificial intelligence, Online Identity and Virtual World Building. Log in to Mozilla Hubs to watch the virtual exhibition, presented in a world build by Pleun Gremmen and Noemi Biro. 

‘Welcome Back to Portal Park’ is made possible by Stimulerings Fonds Creatieve Industrie, Mondriaan Fonds, Elize Mathilde fonds, Nieuwe Instituut and Gemeente Rotterdam. 
‘Welcome Back to Portal Park’s’ after movie is made by Rogier Mulder and Peter Marcus. Graphic Design by Studio Appartement. 

Maria Mombers (1998) is a visual artist, designer and teacher with a fascination for pop- and internet-culture. With an interest in the social aspects of the online domain, she searches digital environments for content that she thinks would feel at home in a contemporary art museum. She finds this as funny as it is alienating and at times bizarre. How do we deal with the possibilities of new technology? Within what virtual environments do we meet and why do we find those precise places interesting? Not the technology itself, but our relationship to these new developments, are central to her work.


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