I work with fantastic realism and virtual reality to create stories of what might lie beneath us. I want to generate curiosity around what we have underwater; that it is just as exciting to explore the concealed, grimy crevices of the Baltic sea as it might be to explore other planets.
I have used an underwater drone to explore the Baltic sea, and found an uncanny, dystopian world that dwells below, while the everyday life of the city persists above the surface. I’ve reconstructed this world in Unreal Engine based on my drone photography and underwater photogrammetry that has been made by others in the Baltic Sea. The surrealistic constellation of trash, pollution and sea life sparked ideas for characters that I’ve populated the virtual world with. They represent stories of the Baltic Sea’s history, as well as contemporary conflicts that the sea is struggling with. The virtual space is carefully handcrafted with several creatures and artifacts scattered out for the viewer to find.
The piece is presented in a Virtual Reality installation as part of my Bachelors in Fine Art degree at the Royal Institute of Art in Sweden. The participant enters a cockpit-like sculpture that fits two persons at a time, which creates a safe and immersive space to experience the piece. Once inside, the participant controls their journey through the world with a joystick and can choose to view it though VR glasses or on three TV screens mounted as a windshield.
At the nextmuseum residency I want to get the opportunity to discuss with your curators how to distribute this virtual world on the web. I’ve previously built a virtual exhibition in Unity WebGL, where the viewer scrolls though an immersive tunnel of my classmates artworks. ( Link to documentation: https://youtu.be/Is3eDJmK5GU ) But since “Sea No Evil” is made in UE5, I’m thinking of utilizing pixel streaming to publish the work. Another alternative is using the recently released Fortnite Unreal Editor and publishing the experience through the Fortnite platform. One last option is using WebXR since the original way to experience my artwork is in Virtual reality. That would be the most accurate port, but also the most technically challenging and least accessible. It is a balance between accessibility and immersion. It would be of great value for my artistic development to get a chance to deepdive into these questions with you at the residency. I would then develop the interactive web experience and exhibit this at the wwwforum exhibition.