This year at the Venice Biennale, not all of the exhibitions are visible. Ozel Office of Los Angeles have "hacked" the Venice Biennale with the help of some major architecture firms: Asymptote Architecture, Greg Lynn Form, Neil M. Denari Architects, Murmur, and Oosterhuis Lenard. Together, these firms have created a rogue digital addition to the Biennale only accessible through a virtual portal revealing a world of levitating models, movable objects, and much more, activated by physical components of the Koolhaas-curated central pavilion.
Find out how you can hack the Biennale after the break.
Roof, stair, ceiling, heat... digital? According to the brief for "Project Source Code," the single aspect lacking from Koolhaas' thorough world of architectural fundamentals is the realm of digital innovation and evolution - the most important aspect, says project creator Guvenc Ozel. "Architects seem to be the only artists working in the digital medium that do not share files with their colleagues in the same way that other disciplines do, such as electronic music, digital art and the like," he says.
Enter: Biennale Hacked, a virtual reality populated by 3D architectural models provided by the architects themselves as an act of participatory rebellion. The virtual projects serve as a reminder of the flaw in Koolhaas' mandate to explore "architecture without architects," a field undoubtedly shaped by its professionals. "The absence of architects and their methods of working results with absence of architecture" says Guvenc. "There is no longer a difference between information and representation," states the brief, adding "reality now is constructed so commonly through a synthesis of the physical and the virtual."
Anyone can "hack" the biennale through the use of their smartphone by simply downloading the app Augment and activating it in the exhibition. Once inside the central pavilion, visitors can use the app to scan the exhibition as it detects designated "trackers" - components of the physical exhibition - that will animate once discovered by the app. Suddenly, 3D renderings will appear on-screen as the augmented reality portion of the project comes to life. Collaborating firms have each shared a project to be digitally paired with relevant components in Koolhaas' exhibition. Augmented reality enables the user to experience each project three dimensionally on a smartphone screen.
Guvenc's retaliation against the Biennale is indicative of a clear distaste for the exclusion of architects and technology from the central exhibition. Biennale Hacked represents a consortium of architects aiming to return democracy to the architectural process through the guerrilla-style inclusion of non-approved projects. Find out more about the motivation and methods behind Biennale Hacked on their website.