[ISEA2022] Paper: Clea T. Waite — Supra-dimensional Cinema: VR Case Study ‘TesserIce’

Introductory Statement 

Remote paper presentation, date: June 10. Session: Humans and non-humans in an earth context

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Tesseract, Climate Change, Fourth Dimension, Embodiment

TESSERICE is a four-dimensional, VR mediascape that allows participants to enter the 4D space-time of glacial ice, creating a supra-dimensional, embodied experience of climate change’s time, scale, causes, and effects.

The combined three-dimensional, stereoscopic space and embodied navigability of virtual reality foster a supra-dimensional perceptive space. They provide an opportunity to experience a four-dimensional, shifting landscape and acoustic, cinematic environment from within the fourth dimension. VR is uniquely positioned to visualize hyper-space as a mathematical construct in which the participant can experience four dimensions.

TesserIce is a four-dimensional, VR mediascape that utilizes these features, allowing one to enter the 4D space-time of glacial ice. The mediascape constructs a tesseract as an embodied cine-poem – a hyperspace of spatialized meaning and navigable time, examining the effects of climate change on polar ice. Within a crystalline, cinematic tesseract, a four-dimensional architecture composed of different scales, forms, sounds, and speeds of ice enacts the meta-dimensions of our contemporary data-world in manifold perspectives. Participants propel themselves through the hyper dimensions of this tesseract, unfolding unchartered vistas, juxtapositions, and timeframes – the space-time of Earth’s polar ice. The stark iconography of ice serves as a distinct access point into the overwhelming complexity of climate change and its ramifications, creating an embodied experience of the time, scale, causes, and effects of climate change.

For the video recording of the presentation see: Amalia Creus — Humans and non-humans in an earth context 

  • Clea T. Waite, Ph.D. (USA) is an intermedia artist, scholar, engineer, and experimental filmmaker whose artworks investigate the material poetics that emerge at the intersection of art, science, and technology. She creates immersive, cinematic works engaging embodied perception, dynamic composition, and sensual interfaces – as well as one inter-species collaboration with several hundred tropical spiders. Her themes examine climate change, astronomy, particle physics, history, feminism, and popular culture. Waite received her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California in interdisciplinary Media Arts + Practice, combining a background in physics and computer graphics from the MIT Media Lab with her current research in cinema, media art, and critical theory. She brings a unique blend of expertise to her projects from which cross-disciplinary synergies emerge.