More Perfect World
Mixed-reality and public sculpture proposal
More Perfect World is a sculptural landscape installation enhanced by virtual and augmented reality platforms. Interested in the interplay of public enthusiasm and expectations of virtual reality and current global socio-political and ecological realities, we plan to crowdsource the form of the landscape — an idealized future — to realize its form through social media data tagged #moreperfectworld. Informed by the histories of landscape painting and photography, minimalist sculpture, and land art, this installation will visualize and spatialize the hopes and dreams of Canadians.
Virtual reality is our dreams made manifest, ‘the first step in a grand adventure into the landscape of the imagination’ (FRANK BIOCCA, TAEYONG KIM, & MARK R. LEVY, Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality). Media hype and venture capital have exalted this particular technology into a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry because of its capability to craft cooperative imaginary spaces, ‘just like the real world’ (JARON LANIER, Spin Magazine, November 1995). It is already expected to become the preferred living space of the future, an escape from the mounting environmental and social problems plaguing Earth. Though more sophisticated VR designers claim, ‘it is in its relationship with the real, rather than in its attempts to substitute itself for the real, that the most original use of virtual reality is found,’ (GABRIELLA GIANNACHI, Virtual Theatres)
Regardless, VR is celebrated for its egalitarian qualities and trumpeted as the ‘world-apart’ space in which to solve the breaks and tears in real reality. “We are all created equal in the virtual world and we can use this equality to help address some of the sociological problems that society has yet to solve in the physical world.” (BILL GATES, The Road Ahead ) yet those without access to the necessary venture capital, hardware, and software components, and digital literacies will be necessarily excluded from this perfect near-world-dreamscape-simulation.
This project has 2 parts. The first is a sculptural environment installed that will overlay a more perfect world into public space. The overlay of this virtual landscape via 3-dimensional polygon-based objects allows all residents, irrespective of age, socioeconomic status, or digital experience to engage and explore the Virtual Reality juggernaut for themselves. The second part offers GoogleCardboard VR headsets to be checked out during select weekend hours for full immersion in the VR experience of the landscape.