[ISEA2019] Artists Statement: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Gustavo Rincon, Kon Hyong Kim & Andrès Cabrera – ETHERIAL: Quantum Form from the Virtual to the Material

Artists Statement

Virtual Reality, Computers, 3D glasses, HTC VIVE, stereo projectors, stereo speakers, dimensions variable.

The nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic or subatomic level, quantum physics, lends to its ethereal nature, gossamer wings, those substances that are immutable however untouchable. To touch the untouchable, to understand and know what is real but cannot be seen and to experience it; to truly experience immateriality as substance, form, and shape that is dynamic, transformative and truly alive, constantly changing but continually unchanged, the vibration of waveforms intermingling as one form, one shape one spirit, into a myriad of forms.
Etherial will bring the quantum form into the material, through virtual reality, spatial augmented reality and material form. The work will consist of both virtual reality and spatial augmented, a completely immersive VR space that will allow viewers to interact with the virtual world of quantum mechanics in real time through a physically rendered sculpture that will be tracked with gestural sensors. Etherial can also be interactively viewed un-embodied through VR headsets. Two controllers into a completely immersive VR space that will allow performers to sculpt quantum mechanics in real time in total synchrony with one another and the virtual environment that they control.
In keeping with the theme of “LUX”, the quantum, revealed, the hydrogen- like atom combinations feature light-emitting wave function combinations that move toward the science of the phenomenon, while the quantum, suggests the ethereal nature of spirit in the form of light, ETHERIAL/IMMUTABLE – to touch the untouchable.

  • Lead Artist: Composer, Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, creator of Etherial, is Director and Chief Scientist of the AlloSphere Research Facility and Professor of Media Arts and Technology and Music, in the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Her research focuses on creative computational systems, content, and facilities design. Her 35 years of experience in digital media research led to the creation of a multi-million dollar sponsored research program for the University of California—the Digital Media Innovation Program. She was Chief Scientist of the Program from 1998 to 2003. The culmination of her creativity and research is the AlloSphere, a 30-foot diameter, 3-story high metal cylinder inside an echo-free cube, designed for immersive/interactive scientific/artistic investigation of multi-dimensional data sets.   allosphere.ucsb.edu
  • Gustavo Rincon, Media Artist, Sculptor, Graphics Immersive Artist, Creator of the material-rendered sculpture: Gustavo Alfonso Rincon is educated as an architect, visual artist and currently is a PhD student in the Graduate Program in the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at UCSB, and a member of the AlloSphere Research Group. He holds Masters Degrees in Architecture/Urban Design from UCLA as well as a Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.  w2.mat.ucsb.edu/grincon
  • Kon Hyong Kim, Graphics Researcher/Artist, Calibration, Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) Research, Creator of the SAR Installation Environment. Kon Hyong Kim is currently a PhD student in the MAT and a member of the AlloSphere Research Group. Kim’s research focuses on the analysis and application of modern graphics rendering and calibration techniques and the integration of SAR and VR technologies.
  • Andrès Cabrera, Distributed Multimedia Software Design, AlloSphere Media Systems Engineer, AlloSphere Research Facility, University of California Santa Barbara, PhD in Music Technology, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Ireland, Cabrera’s expertise includes 3D spatial audio and multimedia systems design.  allosphere.ucsb.edu/html/people.html