DOWN THE PIXEL HOLE VR
Runtime: 10:20 mins
Platforms: WMR VIVE RIFT PSVR
What are the materials of infinity? and is it possible to contain the inconceivable?
Down The Pixel Hole began as a search for anomalies in the digital matrix of Google Sky and the tracing of conspiracy theories regarding censorship of objects and stars within the sky maps. The project developed into a VR experience, allowing for an immersive journey inside a personal interpretation of the essence of outer-space through the materialization of digital photographic layers from which the Google Sky fabric is constructed. The experience of falling through the envisioned empty pixels allows for an exhilarating discovery that is both terrifying and surreal as it is sublime.
Google Sky website launched a decade ago, and allows the browsing through and exploring of remote regions of the universe using tools that visualize different layered wavelengths (such as x-rays and infrared). The map is constructed out of millions of images from various ground- and space-based astronomical surveys.
While exploring the map, screenshots were collected of areas in space in which empty pixels are shown, exposing the mechanism of the system, in which algorithms stitch together images from different sources, time periods and quality, occasionally leaving an unsettling, artificial void in the digitally sewn quilt.
The work also contains seamless textures from the Fukushima Texture Pack project (2016-), created by the artist duo Eva and Franco Mattes, intended to grant access to the otherwise off-limits Fukushima radioactive exclusion zone. http://0100101110101101.org/fukushima-texture-pack/
The VR Piece puts the viewer through an experience of a slow fall through the empty pixels in an imaginative outer-space environment. The visual representation of space takes form as large-scale rectangular surfaces with intriguing qualities that can be viewed up close and interacted with (in a limited way). The visual and audio elements are revealed each in their own turn, through a journey in an orchestrated chaos in which both the physicality of the viewer’s body and the materials of the universe are constantly being challenged.
"If there is no stable ground available for our social lives and philosophical aspirations, the consequence must be a permanent, or at least intermittent state of free fall for subjects and objects alike." (Hito Steyerl, In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective, 2011)
Down The Pixel Hole, Screenshot, Fukushima texture Pack, 2018
Creator & Creative Director:
In collaboration with:
Eva and Franco Mattes