Exploring Nature with Virtual Reality

I first began working on the Wonder project in 2011 when I was given the opportunity to create a VR exhibition for a CAVE™ --- a 10’ cube of rear projection screens — in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery building on the University of Wisconsin campus. The outcome is a 15 minute suite of six fully immersive scenes based on my 2D photography.  In the virtual reality CAVE, the artwork is reinvented as interior and exterior spaces that become expansive, exploratory worlds.

My goal was
to create an opportunity to experience being in nature "differently" using new visualization technology. Some of the scenes are macro forest "tableaux" based on my scanography, for example. Plant life grows large and becomes knowable as the viewer interacts with 3D models. As she shifts her gaze and position she senses that she is moving ‘through’ the scene and becoming a part of it.

“Wonder” is now being reinvented as downloadable, applications to be viewed with VR glasses. This project has received support from the D2P (Design to Product) incubator program at the UW-Madison.