The Garden of Virtual Utopias
Inspired by the work of Sir Thomas More, who coined the concept of ‘utopia’, this event blends art and technology with the urban space transforming Thomas More Square into an immersive digital art experience. Composed of two main areas: Utopian Worlds - a large LED screen installation with a playful seating area and VR Meditation Station, the exhibition features the work of artists and avatars as well as live performances. By integrating digital aesthetics and virtual elements in the real space, the event aims to bring the square to life and to create a synergy between the physical and virtual realms, allowing visitors to flow between these two worlds.
“The virtual world is becoming our new utopia, a parallel world from this reality where we can construct dreams and fantasies. By presenting these digital works within the urban space, my aim is to create an oasis where visitors can connect with virtuality in a new way and escape from the tensions of the busy city” - says curator Estela Oliva.
Video art programme.
Follow the journey of a unicorn exploring an empty commercial space, imagine a virtual travel agent selling holidays to non-existent destinations, see the world from behind the screen of an avatar. Enjoy the new aesthetic of these contemporary 3D worlds, which are becoming the desired utopian spaces of today.
VIRTUAL REALITY MEDITATION POD
ASMR NPC 2.0
By LaTurbo Avedon and Estela Oliva
With ASMR audio by Lulu Indigo
Step inside a site-specific, immersive sensory space to receive a short VR meditation session. Be transported into a therapeutic digital environment using Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), binaural audio and virtual reality simulations inside a green space.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a psychosomatic experience where certain sounds in combination with light trigger tingling sensations, out of body experiences, and phantom limb responses in the body. Known as the “whisper fetish,” ASMR has become an incredibly popular subculture online through YouTube and gaming communities that also integrates elements of avatar role-play, interactive theater, and new age therapy techniques.
This project was premiered at the 2014 VIA Festival as a collaboration between LaTurbo Avedon, Lauren Goshinski and YouTube personality Brittany ASMR. Supported by Bubble Pgh, Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center, and Iontank.
21:30h and 00h
Artist Matteo Zamagni (øøøø) collaborates with music producer Ana Quiroga aka NWRMNTC to create an immersive sound and visual experience which transports the audience into an unknown terrain, blurring the boundaries of performance and gaming.
AV Artist Miri Kat focuses on the creation of unique sounds and immersive multimedia. Her process involves livecoding music & live patching audio responsive visuals simultaneously. She also works at Novation music during the day.
Thomas More Square
Use of VR experience limited to +14.
Curated and produced by Estela Oliva
Production team: Olivia Bellas, Ana Quiroga, Doreen A. Rios, Harry Murdoch.
A project supported by Thomas More Square, Resolution Property and Anna Valley.
Art Night 2017, a collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, curated by Fatos Üstek.
Supported by international auction house Phillip.
THOMAS MORE SQUARE
Thomas More Square is a state-of-the-art business complex in Wapping, London. The venue offers a stunning range of facilities including restaurants, bars and a Fitness First Gym in a prime location adjacent to East London's St. Katherine's Docks. Thomas More Square hosts a calendar of engaging events open to both the public & office tenants.
‘The Garden of Virtual Utopias’ has been selected to be part of Associate Programme of Art Night.
Art Night 2017 will see London’s East End transformed with free art and music by some of the world’s leading artists for the night of Saturday 1 July 2017. Audiences will be able to experience a trail of art, architecture, dance, design and music throughout the night. Art Night 2017 is in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery and curated by independent curator and writer Fatoş Üstek. The festival is generously supported by international auction house Phillips.