DIGITAL TRANSCENDENCE (2020)

Prototypes still in progress, to be exhibited in May 2021 in Paris. 

Digital Transcendence is an immersive multi sensorial experience that translates the overwhelming yet embedded relationship we have with accelerating mass visual consumption. A borderless and frightening phenomena we’ve somehow learned to accept and embrace, as an alternative to being paralyzed by its scale.  The piece aims to induce a state of sensorial euphoria in a club-like environment, with a repetitive techno beat overlaid with Shepard’s tone. The latter is an auditive illusion of infinite ascension. It illustrates this lack of gratification we get as we're endlessly scrolling to the next content. With mass media content as a wallpaper, I'm exploiting it for a physical experience. Because of the primal need to move and intense sensorial stimulation, the piece will guide to physical as well as emotional release, wether it be during the experience or once out of the room. The goal is a reflection on each’s relationship with their social media and hyper-connectivity. This piece’s importance lies in its relevance as well as it’s common effect on people’s psyche. It explores the rising issues that come with the digital age of information, the former heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions.

 

Up to date prototypes on my Youtube Channel.

A FALL INTO 2020 (Virtual Reality/2020)

For our "Wearable Spaces" project, I wanted to focus on a VR experience and what it has to offer, playing on the physical boundaries that can be pushed through VR.

 

Inspired by our current global sanitary crisis, I created a VR installation where the player falls through a tube of screens, showing a timeline of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

Free falling is something very few people actually experience, or sadly live to tell about. Even then it is way too intense, risky and hardly accessible for the common person.

 

Falling is also a mental feeling, one that a lot of us are currently experiencing as we lack control over the current situation. It is hard to see an end to this confinement. It is even scarier to have to admit to ourselves that we will feel the effects of this pandemic for months, maybe years. Even so, it is obvious our society will forever be changed in an unprecedented way. 

 

Finally, and in my opinion the worst part of all of this, is that our only knowledge of the invisible enemy that has us sheltered in our homes is through a bombardment of news and media headlines that are mostly constructed, manipulative and misleading. It is the government’s way to control the masses and the public narrative. Fear makes us “fall” for it much more easily, however intelligent, cultivated and humble one can be.

 

Taylor, Derrick Bryson. “How the Coronavirus Pandemic Unfolded: a Timeline.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 13, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-timeline.html.

BIG BROTHERS (Virtual Reality / 2019)

Big Brothers is an immersive 3D virtual reality world challenging the modern relationship we have with faces, our selfie culture and surveillance capitalism. I focused on the big leaders who created the way we interact with faces today : Andrew Grove, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Paige.They enabled the technologies, algorithms and gadgets that determine the way our society functions nowadays. The audience finds itself in the center of a panopticon/maze-like structure, surrounded by screens of interviews and gifs of those figures.

XTREME DREAMWORLD (Virtual Reality / 2019)

I created this extreme utopic "dreamworld"  for a collaboration with Thalia Kassem and Nasia Chan on a 3 scene Virtual Reality project.

All the elements below have been 3D modelled and placed using Blender and Unity.

For a full playthrough of the entire project, visit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFpwD0lksao&feature=youtu.be

Everytime we close our eyes and drift into sleep, we might be faced with the dream world which we have no control over. We can end up with a beautiful dream or a horrific nightmare. Often these illusions are brought forth because of life circumstances and issues we are currently facing in the real world.

Taking inspiration from this natural reaction of human nature, we wish to create an inspirational dream world that is separated into a utopia and a dystopia. 

By creating two opposite worlds that are both over- exaggerated and extreme, we will translate the importance of balance in one’s perception of life. Without the good, you wouldn’t know what bad is, and vice versa. Our project further suggests that you can find good in a dystopian world and bad in a utopian world

At the beginning of the VR experience, the user starts in a bedroom, prompted to press X or Y. If he presses X, he will travel to the dystopia, the nightmare. If he presses Y, the user will travel to the Utopia, the dream world.

INTO THE CLOUD (2019)

The OECD approached our class in January 2019 and asked us to create a centerpiece for their annual conference. The theme was Tech for Trust, as governments tackle the complex use of new technologies in an anti-corruption and full transparency context.

On a daily basis, a massive amount of data is being stored in faraway clouds.

People perform an act of trust by giving their personal information to public and private institutions.

This piece reflects on trust and transparency implied in such technologies. The Cloud is depicted here as a transparent container of data, a safe place where information isn’t used for dark purposes and the user has control over it.

The audience is given the choice of imputing data into The Cloud or neglect it. This gesture is simulated by the act of switching on the lights of the installation.

© Sacha R. Assi 2021