Blindphones: VR prototype exhibited at Ars Electronica 2018

    Tutkimustuotos: Taiteellinen julkaisu ja ICT-julkaisuExhibitionSolo art productionvertaisarvioitu

    Abstrakti

    Virtual reality, in its current wave, is very much driven by commercial preoccupations, as the last generation of headsets come as a consumer electronic commodity, which results in proprietary technologies exposed to extremely rapid obsolescence, black box tools and strategies more directed towards entertainment and profit than art.
    The idea behind this experimental prototype is to re-appropriate some of the key concepts behind VR creating a low-fi low-tech sonic headset using simple, widely available technologies and sustainable materials. Blindphones draws from the psychedelic tradition of early VR art and drone music, and, by impairing sight, researches an enhanced listening.
    The Blindphones acts like a sensory deprivation tank, where the body floats weightlessly in a dark quiet environment, and the mind is free to shift from a meditative state up to an hallucinatory one.

    The design
    The materials used in Blindphones are as much as possible from sustainable, biodegradable sources, such as bacterial cellulose and biodegradable PLA.
    Bacterial-cellulose is a material produced by some strains of non-pathogenic bacteria, that can be grown in thin membranes that can be actuated to diffuse sound, delivering a broad frequency range.
    The material is also partly transparent, but it impairs sight significantly, allowing only for a limited perception of surrounding lights, with peculiar light diffraction if used as a lens.

    The experience
    Blindphones immerses a solitary visitor in a world of music and choreographed faint shifting lights in total privacy. It hangs, like an open carnivore plant blossom on its own stem, from the ceiling of a dark room. It can be worn while seated, similarly to a traditional blindfold. It allows for the head to move freely, while keeping the body in a fixed position.
    A range of non-conventional sonic devices generate a soundscape and a simple lights and shadows design is projected around the visitor. This is perceivable, almost subliminally, through the odd transparencies of the headset’s membranes and reacts to sound and the user’s movements.

    Credits:

    Institutions:
    Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media/MediaLab and the School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biobased Colloids and Materials research group, Aalto Studios, Aalto FabLab.

    Art and science collaborators:
    Prof. Lily Dìaz-Kommonen, Prof. Orlando Rojas, Prof. Philip Dean, Luiz Greca, Janika Lehtonen, Solomon Embafrash.

    Others:
    Niklas Pöllönen (CAD modelling assistant), Philip Hector (design advisor)
    AlkuperäiskieliEnglanti
    JulkaisupaikkaLinz
    KustantajaArs Electronica Festival
    TilaJulkaistu - 2018
    OKM-julkaisutyyppiF1 Itsenäinen teos tai esitys
    TapahtumaArs Electronica Festival - Linz, Itävalta
    Kesto: 6 syysk. 201810 syysk. 2018
    https://ars.electronica.art/error/en/futurelab-academy/
    https://ars.electronica.art/error/en/blindphones/

    Field of art

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