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Recto VRsoPortrait

“Cybertime Capsule”: a nostalgic journey through the metaverse

Extrait de l'œuvre immersive Cybertime Capsule

"Cybertime Capsule" blurs the boundaries between the real and the virtual.

Crédits photos : Jiahe Zhao

Chinese artist Jiahe Zhao takes us on a journey into a nostalgic world where memories come to life through digitization. Her installation, inspired by performance art, blurs the boundaries between the tangible and the virtual, between real time and cybertime. “Cybertime Capsule” is part of the 7th edition of the Recto VRso festival, on April 11-14.

Digitalization creates immortality

The “Cybertime Capsule” installation is an immersive experience that transports the user into a minimalist bedroom filled with memories. Participants wear a virtual reality headset and find themselves in the middle of this room, ready to immerse themselves in a personal living archive. In the installation, the user sits or lies on a bed, representing the bed of the virtual room in which he is virtually located.

To create this experience, artist and influencer Jiahe Zhao digitized in 3D hundreds of objects evoking personal memories. When the participant is in the virtual room, the memories are transformed into particles and take him on a nostalgic and poetic journey. Through digitization, the artist immortalizes his past. Conversely, by immersing the user in a personal universe other than his own, she makes the notion of possession disappear. “Cybertime Capsule” blurs our perception of reality and time.

Cybertime vs real-time

In “Cybertime Capsule”, there are several temporalities, echoing the theme of the 7th edition of Recto VRso: “Virtual Time / Real Time”. First there is the past, brought to life through the memories in the room and immortalized by the 3D digitisation. Then there is the present, the time of the experience, the one the participant lives in when immersed in the world of this room. Finally, there is the future, represented by the medium used, virtual reality, which transports us into a virtual world, the metaverse.

The presence of the bed at the start of the experience blurs the boundaries between the real and the virtual. At one and the same time, the user is immersed in the virtual universe with the VR headset, but is also sitting on something tangible. The two worlds overlap and merge, blurring our perception of the present (the experience) and the past (the virtual world).

To create “Cybertime Capsule”, artist Jiahe Zhao was inspired by Behavior Art, a creative process based on artists’ habits. The intention is to open up the viewer to what they can discover beyond what they see. With this installation, Jiahe Zhao draws a parallel with social networks, where memories mingle with real-time discussions, where the tangible is superimposed on the virtual, and where virtual and real time become one. She asks the question: is our future existence condemned to being continuously connected?

“Cybertime Capsule” can be seen at the 7th edition of the Recto VRso immersive and interactive art festival, on April 11-14, 2024.

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