Passing Electrical Storms
Immerse Yourself in the Universe with Shaun Gladwell’s Latest VR Installation
Shaun Gladwell, Artist
Matthew Jigalin, Lead Designer and Programmer of VR Experience
Leigh Russell, Hardware and software engineer
Leo Faber, Project producer
Deakin Motion Lab Project Team:
Stefan Greuter, DML Project Management and Interaction Design
Gerard Mulvany, Programming, Heart Rate measurement and visualisation, Vibro-tactile design, Arduino Interface Design
Renee McMillan, Chromakey video visaulisation
Scott Jackson, 3D Optimisation
Passing Electrical Storms is a powerful extended reality (XR) installation by acclaimed artist Shaun Gladwell, commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. The work is a participatory experience that takes viewers on a journey through the universe, inspired by the famous short film Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames. Gladwell’s work invites participants to experience the journey, using VR and tactile feedback to create a deeply affecting and thought-provoking exploration of life and the universe beyond the body.
Gladwell’s career-long inquiry into the human body is at the centre of this work, which takes his exploration to dimensional extremes. The installation offers a meditative yet unsettling experience, guiding participants through a simulated de-escalation of life, from cardiac arrest to brain death. Through Passing Electrical Storms, Gladwell prompts contemplation of the vast universes both within and beyond the body, creating a unique and immersive XR experience that pushes the boundaries of traditional art installations.
Supported by a Research Partnership with Deakin Motion Lab, Deakin University, the work is a testament to Gladwell’s talent for pushing artistic boundaries and creating innovative, interactive experiences that challenge viewers to reconsider their place in the world. With major exhibitions around the world and a reputation for creating deeply affecting and thought-provoking works, Gladwell is a true innovator in the world of contemporary art.
Heemsbergen, L., Greuter, S., Hawker K., Meyrick, T. (2023, November 8-11). Designing for Dying-Death in Immersive Media: technoscientific knowledge and practice in the arts of expiring [Conference presentation]. Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Honolulu, USA.
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