Philosopher Thomas Metzinger describes consciousness as a "tunnel through reality": a low-resolution simulation of an inconceivably richer physical reality. Our sensory organs developed for survival, rather than to depict the world as it truly exists, and so we see and hear only what we need to of reality. Even then, small amounts of information are augmented and rounded up, like a low bitrate mp3 turned up loud. Our tools are limited even before they are misused. If our nervous system imposes a tunnel on reality, ideology only serves to further narrow the view. At a moment when, with technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Game-Engines, new worlds are waiting to be created, there are existing worlds we do not sense at all.
Worlds Among Us invites proposals for projects that seek to use these new technologies to look again at the worlds we do not see. How can creating new worlds, virtual experiences and augmented perspectives help us see more of what already exists?
For the first stage of the project, eight artists will be selected for a three-day 'clinic' at Wysing Arts Centre (13 to 15 December) where they will work closely with Mechatronics Library technologists specialising in Game-Engine technology, alongside curators from Wysing, FACT and QUAD. Following the clinic, the artists will have the opportunity to revise their proposals for a second selection process. From this a new co-commission will be produced with support from the Mechatronics library and specialist technical studios. As part of this second stage, final works will be exhibited at Wysing, FACT and QUAD between 2018 and 2020 with an opportunity to create limited editions with digital manufacturing technology.
We invite proposals from artists interested in developing their practice through these new technologies and interested in reflecting on the philosophical and political implications of their increasing adoption by society. We invite proposals from artists new to these technologies as much as those who have experience working with them. We are especially keen to hear from artists who can bring a range of cultural, social, racial and gender perspectives to draw attention to other worlds existing among us.
During 2017 Wysing has been exploring ‘many voices’ across all our programmes under the over-arching title Wysing Polyphonic. Through residencies, exhibitions, events, study weeks and study days, we have worked with a range of artists to explore a diversity of contexts and positions to help better understand the role of art, artists, and arts organisations such as Wysing, at this moment of global political change.
For the retreat at Wysing, food and shared accommodation will be provided in our 17th century farmhouse.
To apply, please click here.
Image credit: Crabtree and Evans, Critters, 2015