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Immersive Planetarium Art Show Guides Visitors Around A Virtual Universe

culture

The Nimbes audiovisual installation surrounds people with laser scans, CGI and projection mapped images.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 1 july 2014

French audiovisual artist Joanie Lemercier worked with James Ginzburg of Bristol-based project Empyset to create Nimbes, an immersive installation that takes viewers through a virtual universe with constellations, landscapes, and architectural concepts. The 15-minute audiovisual piece is set to music by Ginzberg and uses laser scans, CGI and projection mapping to present stunning virtual environments.

According to Lemercier on his website, “Nimbes explores the ontology of observation and its relationship to cosmogony, notions of intelligence and individuality.”

The installation was specifically designed to be projected on a dome, which is different from a typical cinema or theater that has a screen, creating a rectangular frame. In a dome, the piece is projected and viewed in every direction. Viewers see it in front of them, behind them, and above their heads.

Lemercier took photographs in different locations in the US and Southeast Asia, using six cameras arranged in a rig to film in different directions at the same time. He put the images together to create single picture of remarkable environments from around the world.

He also worked with other developers to build modules and plugins that helped him put the installation together. According to a post by Creative Review, the artist had been planning the project since early this year but it took him only 12 weeks to complete the project.

Nimbes-Joanie-Lemercier-3.jpg

The installation was recently on exhibit at the Satosphere, an 18-meter wide dome at Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology, where it was presented through June 27th along with another immersive installation, Quantum by Francois and Fernando Favier Wunschel of Architecture 1024.

The artist plans to bring the installation to other planetariums in Europe. He is also creating a version that can be viewed with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

A pioneering application of virtual reality design, the installation sparks fresh ideas in immersive visual and theater-like experiences. More images of the immersive installation can be found on the artist’s project page.

Joanie Lemercier // Society for Arts and Technology

Source: Creative Review

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