Nefeli Dimitriadi’s research on virtual landscapes led to the virtual reality art environment titled Planescapes. In her installation the artist is experimenting with the aesthetics of the virtual reality space using visual arts, video and virtual reality technologies, to adress the experience of flying over real and virtual landscapes.
The exhibition consists of an interactive lighting installation, with distance measuring sensors following the gaze / step of the spectator and revealing painted aerial landscapes, of a video where the viewer watches a flight over endless lands and sea, and of a virtual reality flight simulation.
In her virtual reality environment Nefeli Dimitriadi attempts to re-create/simulate the seamless, nearly disembodied, experience of flying in the confined space of an airplane, where the human body, immobilized in the airplane seat, hovers imaginatively through his gaze over the land.
The feeling of immersion is reinforced by the use of a virtual reality headset, Oculus DK2, along with the integration of elements taken from her aerial paintings, used as textures in the three-dimensional space.
“If I had to put into words the experience of a long flight over the land, sea and clouds, where the perception of the limits of our body and gaze are redefined, I would speak:
of the sensation of numbness of a body in the inhibiting condition of entrapment in a airplane seat,
of the buzzing sound of machines and of the disjointed unnatural sounds in which the brain seeks sound patterns and gradually begins to hear a melody emerging through this constant humming,
of the gaze overlooking the endless landscapes spread down below like a plan, in a new relation with the sunlight,
of the sweet reverie, the aimless ceaseless contemplation,
of the sense that the observation point of the world is out there, above the clouds, when one is just looking out of a plane window with his body still, feeling as if his consciousness is hovering over the world, acquiring an illusionary transcendental feeling of overview,
of the increasing intensity and clarity of this imaginary musical composition in his mind, until eventually it fades, succumbing to the sudden interference of the mechanical sound of the airplane when the body has to recover from numbness, has to wake up again and return to its physical boundaries, as the plane begins the landing process.”
Athens, November 2016
Interactive lighting technical support: George Apostolakos