Despite its looming omnipresence, the Venice Architecture Biennale had very little material on virtual/augmented
reality and the metaverse. Unfrozen interviews two of the exceptions.

First, Era Merkuri and Martin Gjoleka, principals of the Karlsruhe, Germany-based Heramarte, are the curators of the ⁠2023 Albanian Pavilion⁠, titled "Untimely Meditations: How We Learn to Live in Synthesized Realities." The project takes two real but highly adulterated 1950s public works projects in Tirana - the Dinamo Stadium and the Artificial Lake - and situates reimagined augmented-reality objects within them, projecting the results throughout the space at the Arsenale, and online.


Second, Chidi Nwaubani is the founder of Looty, a “virtual restitution project” in which a team of artists stages a “heist,” in masks and dark clothing, to (perfectly legally) scan detailed 3D images of looted artifacts from Africa now sitting in places such as the British Museum. The 3D images of such works as the Benin Bronzes and the Rosetta Stone are then converted into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with 20 percent of the proceeds going to grants for young African artists.


Intro / Outro: “Untimely Meditations” by Shortwave Research Group

Intermezzo: “Heist” by Noisestorm