A collaborative work by Samuel Walker
The Large Plexiglass Cube No 1 (2017) is an interactive virtual reality installation — a plexiglass rectangular prism sitting atop a three and a half ton pile of river rocks, a virtual reality headset plays a procedurally randomized series of narratives using real-time 3-D computer generated graphics, and a four channel surrounding audio component.
The work investigates the intersection between reality and simulation. By replicating and tracking a virtual rendition of the installation in virtual reality, participants are able to simultaneously exist in two parallel modalities, provoking a kind of cognitive dissonance. Through the act of ‘testing’, probing, and investigating the space, participants are invited to critically analyze the ontological foundation of their perceived surroundings.
The central object in the work is the plexiglass cube, which signifies the default geometric primitive in standard three-dimensional modeling software. In computer graphics, the cuboid form is considered essential, irreducible, and atomic, and is the basis for all complex topological forms. We are investigating the role of geometry as a catalyst for the formation of hyperdimensional objects and representations in virtual space.
We’re interested in the virtual re-construction of distant and inaccessible spaces which are only explorable through robotic intermediaries. We sourced high-resolution image data collected by the Solid State Imager (SSI) from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. The SSI has captured region-resolution images of Europa’s surface topography by performing several flybys in orbit around the Jovian satellite. Using a compilation of these images, we are able to extrapolate height information from which we can generate a full 3-D topographical landscape.