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Sacred Hill, a project by Ali Eslami and Klasien van de Zandschulp, researches how ‘sacredness’ can be used to make sense of, and shape, our virtual space. This evening they will test a performative experiment as part of the VR experience. The installation will be open all evening, but this experiment will have limited capacity.

19:00 – 21:00
also this evening

14:00-17:00 Mini symposium Organic Architecture

18:00-19:30 Thursday Bite 

19:30-21:30 Archive Explorations: The Community Centre

19:30-21:30 Beyond the Cover: WoZoCo (MVRDV)

19:30-21:00 Sacred Hill: Closure & Performance Ritual

The museum is free of charge from 17:00-21:00 


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


This is a free event for which you have to reserve a ticket in advance. There are limited spaces available. 

Ali Eslami

Ali Eslami is a Virtual Reality Artist and Practitioner from Iran who has been active and experimenting with VR since 2014. Ali’s work carves new pathways into this emerging medium by developing interactive experiences, driving his practice-led research. The experiences manifest as realities that blur fictional and non-fictional narratives, which strive to articulate possible futures. Ali compliments his process with speculative design and world-building, and is ever questioning the restraints of physical space, time and bodies. Besides content production, Eslami is active in running VR lectures and workshops. In 2016, his VR project won the IDFA DocLab Award for “Best Immersive non-fiction”

Klasien van de Zandschulp

Klasien van de Zandschulp designs story-based and participatory experiences, blending digital/physical and online/offline interactions. Her work involves mobile and augmented reality experiences as well as interactive installations and explores embodiment, sensory design, rituals, human interaction and radical thoughts around our daily technology practices. She is also active as a curator and initiator of interactive events, labs and exhibitions. She recently won the IDFA Doclab Immersive Non-Fiction award and is selected as fellow at the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab.

Sacred Hill 

Set against this background, Sacred Hill specifically tackles the ‘sacred’: the literally meta-physical which people in our material world seek out using drugs, occult or religious rituals or meditation. Eslami and Van de Zandschulp study the impact of VR on our longing for higher consciousness, another state of consciousness, illumination or trance. Sacred Hill consists of an installation, an online application and performances that allow visitors to take pills, enter a temple and undergo a sacred experience – while ‘in reality’ perhaps they just have just walked around the exhibition wearing a headset.  

The program starts at 7pm with an artist talk, which is accessible for visitors without a ticket for the performance. Tickets for the performance at 7:30 pm are sold out. 

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.