‘The Outlands’ is a virtual reality environment that allows the viewer to explore a series of imaginary landscapes using customized control sticks. Built with the Unreal game engine the work has four levels where viewers are free to take their time to look around and explore without fear of assassination.
Visitors are invited to take control and conduct their own voyage through an immersive digital world of forests, islands, and futuristic interior architecture. Clasping the tree branches that sit atop a console table, the viewer navigates through each zone, encountering portals into the other worlds configured within the work. While appearing to be a video game, what are startlingly absent are weapons, bodies and aggression. The logic of killing and winning that structures gaming no longer exists, and is replaced with the process of moving through each digital environment and at times suddenly being transported into an adjacent world. Exploratory voyaging becomes the subject of ‘The outlands’ and a close attention to the digital environments portrayed within it.
In October 2014 NASA delivered high-definition, 3-D footage of astronauts living and working on the International Space Station to the Internet, posting video of astronauts exploring water tension in microgravity. The same engineers who sent high-definition cameras and then 3-D cameras to the space station have now delivered a new camera capable of recording images with six times more detail than either of the previous cameras.
The Epic Dragon camera by RED, a digital cinema company, is capable of shooting at resolutions ranging from conventional HDTV up to 6K, specifically 6144 x 3160 pixels. By comparison, the average HD consumer television displays up to 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, and digital cinemas typically project 2,000 to 4,000.
The fifth SpaceX cargo resupply mission delivered this camera to the orbiting laboratory in January 2015. The camera’s ability to record at a high resolution as well as up to 300 frames per second made it the ideal recording device to capture dynamic events like vehicle operations near the station, such as docking and undocking. The higher resolution images and higher frame rate videos can reveal more information when used on science investigations, giving researchers a valuable new tool aboard the space station.
The subtle and beautiful music video for Gosh, from Jammie xx album In Colour. The music video was directed by digital artist Erik Wernquist, with photos by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.
The video is a slow study of a mars like plant that slowly reveals humans presence and a terraformed surface cut to Jammie xx’s beat. A barren surface gives away to arial images of human infrastructure and space stations that encircle overhead.
Wernquist early short film “Wanderers” explored many of the same themes about humanities nature to explore and experance, built around beautiful images of space and the cosmos and narration built around an expert from Carl Sagan ‘s “Pale Blue Dot.”
Wernquist described the film as:
…a vision of our humanity’s future expansion into the Solar System. Although admittedly speculative, the visuals in the film are all based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. All the locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.
– Erik Wernquist
For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds.
Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…”
Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds— promising untold opportunities—beckon.
Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.
– Carl Sagan, “Pale Blue Dot”
This film was made with use of photos and textures from: NASA/JPL, NASA/CICLOPS, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, ESA, John Van Vliet, Björn Jonsso.
In the early 1980s, Hockney began to produce photo collages, which he called “joiners”, first using Polaroid prints and subsequently 35mm, commercially processed colour prints. Using Polaroid snaps or photolab-prints of a single subject, Hockney arranged a patchwork to make a composite image. An early photomontage was of his mother. Because the photographs are taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is work that has an affinity with Cubism, one of Hockney’s major aims—discussing the way human vision works.
Creation of the “joiners” occurred accidentally. He noticed in the late sixties that photographers were using cameras with wide-angle lenses. He did not like these photographs because they looked somewhat distorted. While working on a painting of a living room and terrace in Los Angeles, he took Polaroid shots of the living room and glued them together, not intending for them to be a composition on their own. On looking at the final composition, he realized it created a narrative, as if the viewer moved through the room. He began to work more with photography after this discovery and stopped painting for a while to exclusively pursue this new technique. Frustrated with the limitations of photography and its ‘one eyed’ approach, however, he returned to painting.
unfold is a synaesthetic, immersive audio-visual experience. Through a complete unison of sight and sound, Kurokawa has created a beautifully abstract (but scientifically based) expression of the beginning of the universe. This new body of work translates space data, specifically the phenomena surrounding the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies, into sounds, images and vibrations.
For unfold, Kurokawa collaborated closely with Vincent Minier, astrophysicist at the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (CEA Irfu, Paris-Saclay). The artist was granted unprecedented access to the facility’s scientific data which he used to create striking 3D representations of space, including interpretations of how star-clusters form, and of the birth of sun-like stars. With a focus on the sensorial and the experiential, inspired by the latest discoveries in the field of astrophysics, this beautifully immersive environment transports us to the depths of the universe, bringing us face to face with a reading of the secrets of its inception, and by extension, our own beginning.
unfold artist’s first ever solo exhibition in the UK, premiered at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool from March 2016 – June 2016.
The following images come from negatives salvaged from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing, where they had been sent to be filtered for their silver nitrate content.Over the years French collector Thomas Sauvin built this archive of more than half a million 35mm negatives, depicting the capital and the life of her inhabitants over the last thirty years.
From 2011 to 2013, Chinese artist Lei Lei selected over 3000 photos to create the animation you are about to see, an almost epic portrait of anonymous humanity.
The film is the winner of Grand Prix shorts – non-narrative at the 2013 Holland International animation film festival, Nenarativní animace at the 12th Anifest International animation festival, Special Mentions by the jury members in 12th Countryside Animafest Cyprus. and Official Selected by Annecy International Animation Festival 2013.
Animation by Lei Lei + Thomas Sauvin, with sound art by Zafka