Alice XR: A Machine For Thinking, 2019
Computer, software, VR headset, Vive VR world + 3-channel animation
3 Channel Video plus and computer software
Room installation projected/screens on three walls with Alice VR hanging headset in the center Alice is a machine for thinking: a virtual chamber for repose and contemplation. It is the third work loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, created by media artist Claudia Hart. Alice mashes 3D animation, motion-captured ballet and music improvised by Danielle DeGruttola, while immersed in the VR, then recaptured and placed in the bodies of music avatars who is then added back into it, who is driven and deforming to the now recorded live track. Alice feeds-back the virtual and the live, blending them together in a liminal, uncanny mix. This XR work mixes realities. It consists of 2 parallel representations, coinciding in a single exhibition space. The first is a three-channel high-definition movie projected on three walls: a 3D-animation anamorphic stretched out and flattened into panoramic expanse. The second representation is of the same performance, now occurring within the spherical dome of a VR world, built out as Vive VR. The dual spaces exist simultaneously, though each is a construction emerging from a different art historical period: one from the age of capture and the analog camera and the other from the current digital age. Hart has conceived of this doubling as liminal, a construction made possible through the “queering” of space and likens it to the technology theorist Donna Haraway’s notion of the Cyborg as first described in her 1983 Manifesto, where the writer imagined a Utopian future in which advanced bio-technologies would liberate human culture from the constraints of traditional gender binaries. As liminal, Alice expresses the idea that the VR medium itself is a paradigmatic philosopher's hut, world of inverted logic to confound the mind and its perceptions.