In late 2004, the Erasmus Medical Center approached V2_ about a virtual
reality project to be presented at the opening of its new
bioinformatics department. V2_ was hereby given the opportunity to work
with the Erasmus Medical Center’s I-Space, acquired for the purpose of
carrying out scientific simulations in a 3D VR environment. The I-Space
is a cubelike room (CAVE) that makes possible interactive 3D
projections and the manipulation of 3D objects (e.g. representations of
genes). The architect/artist Sonia Cillari created a special piece, in
collaboration with sound artist Edwin van der Heide, that made use of
the exceptional qualities of this VR environment.
GATC/life is a virtual reality project inspired by the human genome.
The artists created a dynamic, interactive multiuser experience with
surround sound. The visualization took inspiration from the biomedical
research of the Erasmus Medical Center. At the outset of the project,
the biomedical research team, V2_’s developers, and the artist
regularly exchanged information. Besides scientific visualizations, the
I-Space lends itself outstandingly to interactive multimedia
experiences. Cillari and Van der Heide’s virtual reality piece has been
incorporated into the Erasmus Medical Center’s art collection.
“GATC/life is an immersive experience inside units of life. The liquid
multicolored breathing membrane (the ‘inside’) contains flocks of cells
and microscopic particles/molecules with disordered, human-like, noisy
behaviors. Our presence and actions influence their configurations and
growth within the space and around us. This work explores our
perception under conditions of extended body dimensions and lack of
control.” – Sonia Cillari
This project was financially made possible by the Pauwhof foundation, which focuses on the relationship between art and science.