INSIDE considers provocative questions around the uncanny ability of VR to confound our sensory perception while contemplating what happens inside of us when inside virtual worlds. VR worlds can be like hallucinations - another reality leaking into our “real” world. In fact, we enter and explore the virtual brain, the Brain Cave, and find the universal imagery of hallucinations.
In this work the artist explores the inner world of the brain, the connection between virtual and real humans, and the sensation when immersed in artificial nature. Following the artistic practice of utilizing “found objects”, many elements that make up the virtual worlds were found by scavenging through online thrift stores, while the model of the brain was derived from actual MRI brain scan data.
INSIDE consists of three worlds: the Night Desert, the Brain Cave and Nature. We begin in the desert where a mysterious presence appears and enters our personal space then transports us to a place inside the brain. As we explore this primordial cave of the mind, we discover deeply ingrained images and sounds. Our journey continues with a ride through the optic nerve to arrive at what appears to be a soothing natural landscape.
Initial inspiration came from an interest in the mysteries of the brain and how virtual reality can confound our minds and distort our sense of reality. VR worlds can be like hallucinations - another reality leaking into our “real” world. In fact, inside the virtual brain, the Brain Cave, we find the universal imagery of hallucinations.
To explore and develop the aesthetics of virtual space, I followed the artistic practice of utilizing “found objects”. Many of the virtual objects, images, sounds, landscape and people, including their various movements, were found by scavenging through online thrift stores. The model of the brain was obtained from a neuroscience lab, originating from MRI brain scans.
With this work I explore provocative questions around VR and its uncanny ability to confound our sensory perception. What is the role of the body in VR? What happens inside of us when inside virtual worlds? Can we actually find peace and pleasure in artificial nature?
by Rebecca Allen
Lead: Theo Triantafyllidis
Special Thanks for Brain model data:
Dr. Adam Gazzaley
University of California San Francisco
- Rebecca Allen: Sync(Emerge(Consciousness)) Solo exhibition including premiere of commissioned VR installation – Life Without Matter and selected older works, QUAD Gallery, Derby, UK. November 9, 2108 – February 3, 2019.
- Field of View: Perception, The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA. October 2017.
- Moving Image New York, The Waterfront, New York, NY. February 27 - March 2, 2017.
- Toute Seule, Premiere of INSIDE, Gazelli Art House, London, UK. January 12 - February 26, 2017.