Virtual Reality Experiences

Eternal Pruning of the Beautiful Mind-2.
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a ray of light

CRISPR-Cas9 (A Ray of Light)2, 2018

Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Diana Torres, Azadeh Gholizadeh, Chris Collins, and William Robertson

Jennifer Doudna, The Doudna Lab: RNA Biology, University of California, Berkeley; Megan Hochstrasser, Innovative Genomics Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Inspired by Caleb Sandor Taub

 

Virtual Reality Installation/Oculus Rift

CRISPR-Cas9 constellation is a collage of Ruth Bernhard's photographs and Man Ray's rayograms from the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection.

Eternal pruning of the beautiful mind

Microglia are the primary immune cells of the central nervous system that are in charge of pruning synapses. During synaptic pruning, the brain eliminates extra synapses–brain structures that allow neurons to transmit electrical or chemical signals to another neuron.  Synaptic pruning is thought to be the brain’s way of removing connections in the brain that are no longer needed. In this game, the player has to find the appropriate balance between pruning too much or too little by directing microglia to correctly prune the right amount of synapses. If an inappropriate amount of synapses are pruned away dramatic changes in the environment occur. In the context of “over-pruning”, the sound, color and light are diminished while “under-pruning” results in an intensification of these stimuli. By responding to these environmental cues and directing the microglial cells the player will be able to control of one aspect of synaptic pruning and hypothesize about how these important events might be taking place within the human brain.

  • Game goal: Finding balance by pruning synapses. Over-pruning  results in reducing the sound and light to almost darkness. Under-pruning results in an intensification of light and sound. 

  • Navigate the environment by using arrows on your keyboard.

  • Use your mouse or track pad to select the synapses (glowing white circles) and that will direct microglia to prune. 

       For scientific explanation read above.

Note: For better performance it is recommended to open the game with any browser except Safari

Eternal Pruning of the Beautiful Mind, 2019

Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Diana Torres, Azadeh Gholizadeh, and  Chris Collins

Beth Stevens, The Stevens Lab: Lasse Dissing-Olesen

Special thanks to Caleb Sandor Taub

Stevens Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and The Stanley Center at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

 

Virtual Reality Installation/Oculus Rift

The virtual reality is juxtaposed with Eliot Porter's Intimate Landscapes Portfolio from the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection.

Games can only be played on a computer, not on mobile devices

CRISPR-Cas9 is a technology used to edit harmful genetic mutations. First, the RNA-guided Cas9 protein searches for its matching DNA target. Next, the guide RNA pairs with one strand of the target DNA, and then Cas9 cuts both strands. Finally, the cell’s repair machinery seals up the break by patching in a stretch of healthy DNA.

CRISPR-Cas9 (A Ray of Light)2 game is an interactive piece. The viewers find themselves inside of a dark environment. In front of them there is a Cas9 protein that serves as a tool to alter the DNA. As a player navigates this compelling virtual environment, s/he will find blue sections of DNA. The goal of the experience is to eliminate the existing blue DNA. Using the CRISPR technique, the protein Cas9 will cut the existing DNA and replace it with an alternative DNA. As the player cuts the pieces of DNA, Rayograms by Man Ray and photographs by Ruth Bernhard start appearing in the background. When the player finishes eliminating the blue sections of DNA, a customized constellation of rayograms will be revealed. 

  • Game goal: Cut all the blue highlighted DNA sections to create a constellation of Man Ray and Ruth Bernhard's photographs.

  • Navigate the environment by clicking and moving your mouse or track pad.

  • Aim for the blue DNA sections and hit spacebar to inject Cas9 protein so they can be cut and reveal a rayogram or photograph on the background. 

      For scientific explanation read above.

Note: For better performance it is recommended to open the game with any browser except Safari

 
 

Tour Through the Doomsday Clock, 1947-2019

In this reimagined virtual landscape the player explores the Los Alamos, desert site of Project Y and navigates through the Doomsday Clock timeline, from 1947 to 2018. All the textures of the landscape are a montage of Martyl’s landscape paintings of the same location. Each station contains visual cues that symbolize major events that occurred in specific year. The tour is narrated by Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

video excerpts from virtual reality tour

Virtual Reality Tour Through the Doomsday Clock, Detail, 2018-19

Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Diana Torres and Azadeh Gholizadeh 
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Jason Zak, Tanner Marshall and Jaimes Krutz, George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
William Robertson, Co-Founder/CTO Digital Museum of Digital Art
Special thanks to Janine Fron

Voiceover by Rachel Bronson President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists In Memory of Martyl

 

Produced 15 years after the original Have a Nice Day, this body of work reveals heightened threats of nuclear warfare, growing tensions between nations, and environmental factors of climate change, along with positive scientific discoveries that could im-prove medicine and have many more beneficial applications.

In this reimagined virtual landscape the player explores the Los Alamos, desert site of Project Y and navigates through the Doomsday Clock timeline, from 1947 to 2019. All the textures of the landscape are a montage of Martyl’s landscape paintings of the same location. Each station contains visual cues that symbolize major events that occurred in specific year. The tour is narrated by Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Virtual Reality Tour Through the Doomsday Clock, Detail, 1968

Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Chris Kemp, Diana Torres, and Azadeh Gholizadeh 
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Jason Zak, Tanner Marshall and Jaimes Krutz, George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
William Robertson, Co-Founder/CTO Digital Museum of Digital Art
Special thanks to Janine Fron

Voiceover by Rachel Bronson President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists In Memory of Martyl

 

The Magnificent MicroBooNE

With the (art)n MicroBooNE VR, the recorded charge of the outgoing particles is replaced with colorful drawn lines and painted strokes in a Jackson Pollock style, as well as constructed sculpture in the style of David Smith’s Giacometti-inspired work. Both the Pollock painted brush strokes and the Smith sculptures are built up in relation to the course of the particles, illustrating their paths both two-dimensionally and three-dimensionally, while elaborating on the artful presentation of the scientific data and honoring the style of these influential presences in art history. 

 

(art)n uses Jackson Pollock’s unique drip painting style to artistically demonstrate the 2-dimensional graphs Fermilab researchers acquire from the charge-sensing wires inside MicroBooNE. In the same way Pollock’s paint drips record his own movements of his action painting process, MicroBooNE data graphs illustrate the paths and the activities of the charged particles exiting the neutrino interaction. (art)n also uses an evolution of David Smith’s various sculpture work to artistically demonstrate the three-dimensional data graphs Fermilab researchers gain from analyzing multiple views of the two-dimensional planes. 

Like Pollock, David Smith was also an American born artist who worked primarily in seclusion while expressing emotions in his work through strictly abstract ways. Combining influences of European Modernism including Cubism, Surrealism, and Constructivism, Smith is noted for essentially translating the painterly concerns of the Abstract Expressionist movement into sculpture.  Traditional metal sculpture and casts required premeditation and design but Smith built his sculpture in the moment, welding metal pieces together in whatever form he currently desired.  Smith considered himself more a painter than sculptor, bridging his method of work. Later Smith began exploring stainless steel sculpture with burnished textures added through sanding and his work evolved into much more minimalistic art. In the end he was known along with his fellow artist of the times Alberto Giacometti, as one of the greatest sculptors of the era. (art)n uses an evolution of David Smith’s various sculpture work to artistically demonstrate the three-dimensional data graphs Fermilab researchers gain from analyzing multiple views of the two-dimensional planes. In the same way Smith’s sculptures became more minimal over time, the three-dimensional data is interpreted from the existing two-dimensional appearing less detailed than its Jackson Pollock implied predecessor. 

The Magnificent MicroBooNE: Science Through the Art of Jackson Pollock and David Smith, 2016

Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Diana Torres and Chris Kemp

Jennifer Raaf, Sam Zeller, Thomas Junk and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Special thanks to Janine Fron

Virtual Reality Installation

 

SPECIAL TREATMENT

Special Treatment, 2004-2014

Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Keith Miller
Geoffrey Allen Baum, Ben Chang, Todd Margolis

With generous support from Anton Hand, and Mad Catz

Virtual Reality Installation

 

© 2020  (art)n