Re-entering the Ultimate Display

»The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter.[…] With appropriate programming such a display could literally be the Wonderland into which Alice walked.« [1]

The Second Schlosspost Web Residencies Curated by Mario Doulis

»Re-entering the Ultimate Display«

Ivan Sutherland’s »ultimate display« of the mid 1960s predicted what in the late 1980s William Gibson described as »cyberspace« and at the beginning of the 1990s computer scientists and engineers developed under the term »virtual reality.« [2]

The electronic agora – where the dialogue between the user and the computer takes place, surrounded by the aura of vital and controversial debates and collaborations amongst scientists, artists, theorists, sociologists , … was filling the virtual world with a wild mix of hypotheses, experiments, theories, applied and art projects, utopias and dystopias, hopes, dreams, and fears.

At the beginning of the millennium, cyberspace became a quiet place. The masses had left and the few who stayed recovered from the rush of the last decade and enjoyed the silent endlessness of their digital biotopes.

In the 2010s, a new generation of users has started to look through the looking glass, in the form of affordable technical devices like lite-weight 3D helmets, large scale 3D TV screens, and actual virtual reality standards and applications for the web to discover cyberspace.

The call for Web Residencies »Re-entering the Ultimate Display« encourages (digital) artists and scientists (alone or in teams) to share the digital wonderland they will create and inhabit. Their digital flora and fauna, their dream sculptures, market places for lost memories. Neurons playing chess against galaxies while we watch Borges discovering the library of Babel and enjoying the taste of an electronic coffee at Alice’s restaurant.

All kinds of virtual reality projects are welcome (e.g. interactive installations and applications inside and outside of the web, rides through 3D movies and worlds, virtual reality games, and so on). The projects will be presented and documented on Schlosspost.


Akademie Schloss Solitude will award three web residents a micro-grant of 500 USD to support the realization of a project during a four-week long web residency on Schlosspost. In addition to this, a shortlist of the best contributions will be published on Schlosspost.


Submit your project concept in the form of:

– a headline

– a concept text in English (1000-1500 characters incl. spaces)

– a header image (high resolution, landscape format, i.e. 1500x1125px)

– a short bio in English (500 characters incl. spaces)

– a portfolio PDF (images, text, links)


All formats accepted: e.g. websites, videos, writing, 3D objects, applications, etc. Presentations at Merz Akademie’s VR-Lab and facilities of partner institutions in or around Stuttgart are also possible. If specific software or environments are needed, please contact us in advance.


Announcement: 20.04.2016
Application period: 09.05 – 26.05.2016
Jury selection: 26.05 – 06.06.2016
Web residencies: 06.06 – 04.07.2016 (4 weeks)


Mario Doulis, professor for new media at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart

Former Solitude fellows may also apply. No age limit.

Applicants selected for the web residency may still apply for the Digital Solitude fellowships (application period: May 1– June 30, 2016) or the regular fellowship program (application period: Sept 1–Nov 30).

Applicants for the web residencies are welcome to participate in a maximum of three calls. Different projects must be submitted for each call.


  1. Jump Up The text refers to the description of Sherman and Craig in »Understanding Virtual Reality«
  2. Jump Up