VESTIBULAR_1 (Albert Barqué-Duran & Marc Marzenit, 2020) is an immersive audio-visual installation that induces to the audience illusory sensations of self-motion in complete darkness by temporarily disrupting their vestibular functioning. This is achieved via specific powerful patterns and configurations of light and sound stimuli that persist in the retina and in the auditory system while in darkness.
Any organism moving through its environment receives a constant stream of sensory signals about self-motion: optic flow inputs from vision, proprioceptive information about the position of the body from muscles, joints and tendons, and inputs for acceleration via the vestibular system. This latter seems particularly important for self-motion (Green & Angelaki, 2010).
Under normal circumstances, the brain optimally combines sensory signals for self-motion, which are successfully integrated to produce a coherent representation of the organism in the external environment. However, conflicts between sensory modalities may occur when sensory signals carry discrepant information. If the vestibular system is altered with conflicting sensory information, we easily realise that the usual way in which we perceive objects of human expression, such as visual forms, music, and art, does dramatically change (Gallagher, M., Dowsett, R., & Ferrè, E.R., 2019).
The installation VESTIBULAR_1 is based on the innovative research from the VeME (Vestibular Multisensory Embodiment) Lab at Royal Holloway, University of London, which investigates the role played by vestibular signals in the perception and representation of the body and the external world and how it affects aesthetic preferences.
***Photosensitivity and Seizures warning. This installation is not recommended for people with special eye sensitivity. Not recommended for children under 12. Unaccompanied minors will not be able to visit this installation. The artists do not allow the taking of photos or videos, nor the use of any other device that would alter the total darkness in the room.
VESTIBULAR_1 was World Premiered at ARS ELECTRONICA 2020 (9th – 20th September), Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona (ES).
Artists: Albert Barqué-Duran & Marc Marzenit
Co-Producer: BEEP Collection – NewArtFoundation
Technology Partner: Protopixel
Technology Suppliers: Sfëar – Eurecat; Silentsystem
In collaboration with: Elisa Ferrè (Vestibular Multisensory Lab – Royal Holloway, University of London)
Acknowledgements: LaAgencia; AULART
© Albert Barqué-Duran. 2021. All rights reserved.