"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 beeldend kunstenaar, vormgever en docent met een fascinatie voor pop – en internetcultuur. Met een interesse voor de sociale kant van het online domein, zoekt zij in digitale omgevingen naar content die volgens haar in een hedendaags kunstmuseum thuishoort. Wat ze aantreft is even grappig als bizar. Hoe gaan wij om met de mogelijkheden van nieuwe technologie? In wat voor virtuele omgeving ontmoeten we elkaar en waarom vinden we juist die plekken interessant? Niet de techniek zelf, maar onze relatie tot deze nieuwe ontwikkelingen, staan centraal in haar werk.

The line between physical reality and the digital realm is becoming increasingly blurred. Thanks to lightning-fast developments in technology, we are at the dawn of a new world – as virtual and tangible, on– and offline in one: Enter Portal Park: a new world in the heart of Rotterdam– a play paradise, a staged reality, a place of illusion, disillusion and possibility…because behind an exit hides an entrance, behind open doors– an empty field. Welcome to Portal Park. Welcome to this new reality.


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