Shaun Glad­well

He served as an of­fi­cial Aus­tralian war artist and has ex­hib­ited world­wide, in­clud­ing at the Venice Bi­en­nale. Now the video artist is ex­plor­ing a new fron­tier: vir­tual re­al­ity.

Qantas - - IQ -

Do you re­call your first vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) ex­pe­ri­ence?

Leo Faber, co-founder of the Bad­faith VR col­lec­tive I be­long to, in­tro­duced me to it in 2016. We watched a doc­u­men­tary called The Dis­placed and a Chris Milk an­i­ma­tion, Evo­lu­tion of Verse. It was mind-blow­ing.

At what point did you start work­ing with VR?

A few days af­ter that. The first one I did was Re­versed

Ready­made. I re-cre­ated Mar­cel Duchamp’s 1913 sculp­ture, Bi­cy­cle Wheel, and had a pro­fes­sional BMX rider ride it around the cam­era, or­bit­ing the viewer.

What VR technology have you ex­per­i­mented with?

You can travel with Sam­sung Gear VR and show oth­ers the ex­pe­ri­ence. Ocu­lus Rift and HTC’s Vive sys­tem are in­cred­i­ble be­cause you can move through vol­u­met­ric video, an emerg­ing video for­mat fea­tur­ing mov­ing images of real peo­ple that ex­ist truly in 3D.

Can you ex­plain how some­one ex­pe­ri­ences your VR works Or­bital Van­i­tas and Storm Rider [to be re­leased late 2017]?

With ba­sic VR equip­ment: a head­set and head­phones. The sound­track is im­por­tant in VR be­cause it gives you cues. Or­bital Van­i­tas was ex­hib­ited at the Sundance Film Fes­ti­val in Jan­uary with a Positron Voy­ager chair, which had hap­tic feed­back [vi­bra­tions in the back of the chair] to help with the sense of be­ing rum­bled along.

What artists ex­per­i­ment­ing with VR do you ad­mire?

Ev­ery­one from Aus­tralian per­for­mance and tech artist Ste­larc to peo­ple pi­o­neer­ing in the VR cin­e­matic space, such as Cana­dian com­pany Felix & Paul Stu­dios.

Do you think about ar­chiv­ing your works?

The idea of fu­ture­proof­ing seems at­trac­tive. But I’m not sure I want the work to con­tin­u­ously mi­grate into the lat­est technology. I like the fact that it would stay in hard­ware pro­duced around the time it was con­cep­tu­alised, be­cause that rep­re­sents how peo­ple saw it.

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