The work is a parable on Alan Turing’s technological disembodiment, drawing on concepts from Terrence McKenna’s Hyperspace, an undoing of the matter of consciousness and technologies empty promises of liberation and progress. Imagining a future self calls for a dreaming of the kind Terence McKenna evokes in his essay New Maps of Hyperspace (1989) and from which this work formed the research. For McKenna the dream is “zero time” and “outside of history.” It is analogous to the speculative experience of hyperspace, a scifi term given to the space-time continuum in which it is possible to travel faster than light. In both states, time appears to stand still (Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us that the closer an object travels to the speed of light the slower time becomes). Dreaming can quickly turn to nightmare however, and the episodic repetition of history-as-nightmare can, at times, feel like farcical simulation. Finally this work touches on the yawning gaps between our wish for escape, human connection and approval — and our seemingly Sisyphean task of achieving any of it.
Hyperspace is a notion from science fiction of a superluminal method of travel. It is typically described as an alternative “sub-region” of space co-existing with our own universe which may be entered using an energy field or otherdevice. In most fiction, hyperspace is described as a physical place that can be entered and exited. Whereas in the VR work the viewer is essentially trapped in blue screen of death, unable to escape.
Text by Thomas Butler
Virtual Reality Installation, HTC Headset, PC, Blue wallpaper with silver text, excerpts from Terrence McKenna's Lecture entitled New and Old Maps of Hyperspace, Institute for the Study of Consciousness, Berkeley, California 1982.
Commissioned by Light Work/Urban Video Project Syracuse, US,National Sculpture Factory Cork, IE & Berlin Program for Artists, DE. Kindly supported by Arts Council of Ireland & Berlin Senat Stipend 2019 3D Scanning: Benjamin Busch Data Conversion: Elinor Hasselberg 3D Artist: Bertrand Flanet Programers: Felix Kraus & Vladimir Storm. Sound Design: Caroline McCarthy Voiceover: Amy (Text to Speech) Special thanks to Steph Holl Trieu, The BeeCoin Project, Haus der Statistik & Floating University.