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LOST DIMENSION 2020

On the screens that surround us and through which we experience our physical surroundings, buildings and cityscapes are virtualities that inhabit a digital framework of time and space. From satellite imagery to Google Maps, surfaces and 3d geometries are replaced by clouds of points, abstracted from their physical positions. They create a new spatiality, a world without gravity. The buildings represented by these points literally vanish when we get close to them, immersing us in a world that has lost its dimensionality.

Lost Dimension Non-dimensional Cities is an immersive cinematic experience in which participants journey through an endlessly unfolding virtual cityscape that expands over all axes. This dimensionless cityscape is constructed from a large collection of point clouds and sounds. While the user is standing on the controller pod and navigates through this virtual world, a sense of physical instability takes over and the platform becomes an anchor to hold on to. The building blocks of the world are generated from depth map information and panoramic photographs obtained from Google Street View’s API. Depending on the user’s position in the virtual world these blocks are dynamically repositioned on a three-dimensional grid. By subtle manipulation of motion and sound, perspective distortion and shifts in balance Lost Dimension unquestionably re-calibrates the viewer's perception of dimensionality.

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The interface is a sci-fi like control platform on which the user stands and navigates by holding a globular pole covered with hundreds of capacitive sensors. Touching the head right, left, up or down aims the virtual camera movements accordingly. Simultaneously these gestures influence the feedback sounds of the controller and vibrations of the platform itself. Two hundred fifty highrise locations are hand picked on the map, generated and cut in blocks. Depending on the user's position in the virtual world these blocks are dynamically repositioned on a three-dimensional grid. Just like the 3D world, the accompanying soundscape is created from a collection of sounds that are spatially distributed and dynamically mixed in real-time.

Artist:
Marnix de Nijs

Sound design:
Boris Debackere, Brussels, BE

Co-producer:
V2_organisation, Rotterdam, NL

Unity development:
Pawel Homenko, Plewiska, PL

Hardware programming and electronics:
Yoana Buzova & Javier Lloret, Rotterdam, NL

Financial support:
Creative Industries Fund NL


Marnix de Nijs © 2019