Un(i)real is a game which plays with the perception of space. It was produced as a means of showing how to create virtual spaces for games. For that matter AND-OR developed an Unreal Tournament level in which the building of the German department of the University of Zurich was recreated up to the degree that it was identifiable for anyone visiting the true building. The project was shown to participants of a conference which took place in the very same building in 2001.
In an essay in the journal "Kunstforum, volume 176" Margarete Jahrmann introduces the project un(i)real as follows: "Experiencing blind spots, once meant as constructivist experiments in experiencing your own bodies mechanics, has its equivalent in arrangements for experiencing our blind spots in the world of data. Shifting its own perception by ways of a parallel experience between the apparatus of perception and the digital interface as an amplifier of perception is the dominant subject of un(i)real.
The project was developed by Beat Suter and Rene Bauer (AND-OR) at the German department of the University of Zurich in 2001. They deconstructed and reconstructed a space in analogy to the Uni(versity) Reality and played with the convergence of reality and virtuality. In an essay for the journal "Dichtung Digital 2/2002" Beat Suter writes on the impact of the presentation of un(i)real on the audience: "Not everyone in the audience was free of unease when the female Unreal fighter with the gun in position, ready to shoot at anyone who crosses her path, was sneaking along the walls of the German department and slowly moved in on the lecture hall where the participants of the conference were quietly attending." This compares to the dilemma which the main characters of David Cronenberg's movie "eXistenZ" (1998) face: In a delicate gaming situation in a chinese restaurant they finally attempt an emergency exit out of the game and all of a sudden find themselves in a hotel room: "How does it feel now, your reality?" Response: "It does feel very unreal."
Un(i)real is a game which plays with the perception of space. Produced as a means of showing how construction of space is used differently in creating virtual worlds for games, an Unreal Tournament level was developed in which the building of the German department of the University of Zurich was rebuilt to the degree that it was identifiable for anyone visiting the true building. The project was shown to participants of a conference which took place in the very same building in 2001. An essay by Beat Suter in German ("Unreality": Raum als Subtraktion von Welt) offers further information on theoretical and practical backgrounds of the project.
Zurich, University, explorative workshop "space and time in interactive media for children and young adults", November 23 to 25, 2001.