Exploring Nature with VR

I first began working with Virtual Reality 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.  

For the next number of years I continued to explore VR as an expressive medium with additional support from the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois and the D2P igniter program at the University of Wisconisin. 

In 2017, I received a commission from the Montefiore Medical System to create a VR artwork that would be developed as a pain management tool for the Children’s Hospital. "Wonder Walk" is a blend of art, game and journey that can easily involve fifteen minutes of attentive exploration. For ease of use within a hospital setting, the app was developed for use with android devices. It employs a combination of 3D graphics, models, animation, video and digital paintings.

Presently I am working on "Sidetracked!" - a VR expedition designed for more advanced equipment. It offers a free-spirited trek through a rambling landscape of deep woods, high cliffs, sunflower fields and sunlit beaches. It swings from wide-ranging vistas to the detailed, intimate studios of artists who are also nature enthusiasts.

My goal is both to create an opportunity to experience being in nature "differently" and to bring the comforts of nature to those who cannot easily access it.