How would our relationship with the environment alter if we felt that the land was part of our own body?
Gather is a multi-sensory poem made for the Oculus Rift that combines an immersive Virtual Reality environment, a binaural soundscape, tactile 3D props and scent to explore and manipulate the sensory experiences of viewers. Gather explores how immersive technologies can intervene in, disrupt and extend our bodily encounter with the natural world. The project explores where the body stops and the environment begins by using digital technologies to create multi-sensory experiences that facilitate and suggest alternative (rather than new) ways of being in the world. Using the techniques of sensory substitution, the film experience engenders powerful experiences of external natural objects being part of the body through visual feedback and tactile sensation.
Gather showed within the New Sublime exhibition during Brighton’s Digital Festival 2013.
Development of this project began at SCANZ 2013 between artists Kate Genevieve and David Montgomery. Kate brought the project to completion on her return to England with technologist Paul Hayes, sound artist Wesley Goatley, and magician Thomas Fraps.
This work emerged out of conversations and meetings with interested members of the Maori community and artists and researchers at SCANZ 2013 on how we situate the body in the natural world. Initially created as an animation experience for video goggles, the film combined visuals inspired by the experimental animation techniques of Len Lye, particularly Tusalava, with natural objects found on our stay in the Taranaki region, such as flowers, seeds and skin. The Virtual Reality experience incorporates field recordings made in New Zealand and the Sussex countryside.