Olivia Mc Gilchrist
VR experience for Oculus Go
A poetic response to the loss of my best friend in a car accident, MYRa combines digital underwater worlds with performance art; where viewers can experience the feeling of being submerged by grief in an immersive VR work. After filming myself along the coast of Tadoussac in northern Québec in 360 videos, I edited and overlaid this with videos of several bodies of water (ocean, lake, river). I then programmed effects with shaders in Unity3D (gaming engine) to transform these videos into the final artwork. For increased physical comfort, accessibility and portability, there are no interactive elements for the user to activate in MYRa, so each viewer will experience the same work. My intention is to provide a safe, comfortable environment in which my artistic vision can attract both a general audience, and those interested in experiencing the rapid progress of portable VR technology.
Virtual reality Festival VRHAM!2020 official selection.
Available from 4th of June - 4th of August 2020 - vrham.de/
Presented in Museum of Other Realities - museumor.com/ (high-end VR headset required)
Duration: 4 min.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A multimedia artist engaged in questions about identity, I have exhibited in Canada, Jamaica, the USA, Brazil, Germany, Norway, Austria, France, Switzerland, and the UK. I completed a Photography MA (London College of Communication, 2010). I’m pursuing the Individualized PhD at Concordia University, with Professors MJ Thompson, Lynn Hughes and Alice Ming Wai Jim.
My ongoing research-creation project is provisionally entitled: "Virtual ISLANDs, postcolonial hybrid identities in Virtual Reality." Building on my own experience as a white Euro-Jamaican, and past research in the portrayal of my hybrid identity within contemporary Jamaican culture, I’m exploring how this can be represented in VR. Investigating the central role of water in Caribbean cultures, my project is informed by the violent histories of transatlantic slavery and Atlantic modernity, through the framework of Paul Gilroy’s notion of the “Black Atlantic” and Kamau Brathwaite’s “tidalectics” which sees water as a site of history and memory. This project invites a reading of VR practices towards aesthetic/artistic aims through the exploration of submersion as an alternative notion to describe VR’s immersive experience.
If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.