Claudia Hart

Inside The Flower Matrix, 2017

VR experience for Oculus Rift

The Flower Matrix by Claudia Hart is a liminal space and a metaphor for the Interweb.  Imagine it as an Alice in Wonderland world of inversion where the rational order of reason and technology has turned in on itself. In the Matrix, Hart has reinterpreted the Lewis Carroll paradigm using the “labyrinth of the minotaur,” a mythological maze from which there is no escape, as its source. Hart’s version is based on an appropriated computer model taken from 3D Warehouse, a free-online digital repository. The model was then covered with a surfeit of flashing emojis - the icons of power, money, addiction and control: symbols of casino-capitalism that are both seductive and oppressive.

The Flower Matrix virtual-reality environment was created for Oculus Rift but it also pushes into the real world as hand-thrown ceramics, floor coverings, fabrics, furniture and wallpaper - decor harvested from the imaginary Flower Matrix. Flower Matrix augmented-reality decor is coded to trigger Hart’s custom Looking Glass augmented app. With the Looking Glass loaded on a smart device, users can view animations culled from the Flower Matrix embedded in its overloaded surfaces.  

With The Flower Matrix, Hart has proposed a new kind of virtual-reality lounge, a seductive environment for viewing VR. In it, mixed-reality architecture becomes fantastical, embellished by decorative elements that embrace an aesthetic of the fake in which technology has replaced nature - sugary sweet and chemically toxic in equal measures.

The Flower Matrix ensemble was commissioned by Transfer Gallery in 2017.




Artist Statement by Claudia Hart: "I emerged as part of a generation of 90s intermedia artists in the “identity art” niche. I still examine identity, but updated through the scrim of technology. My art is about issues of the body, perception, and nature collapsing into technology and then back again. Everything is fluid in it including gender. I consider it Cyborg-ish. I create liminal spaces, an overused word I know, but, I’m in love with the interface between real and unreal because it is space of contemplation and transformation.  I was an early adopter of virtual imaging, which means using 3D animation to make media installations and projections, then later as they were invented, other forms of VR, AR, and objects using computer-driven production machines, all based on the same computer models. I’m thought of as a pioneer, having taken a feminist position in a world without women when I started 20 years ago. I was totally dedicated to this position, mainly out of necessity, inspired by the French media artists of the 60s."

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.