Images via TUNDRA
Recently, The Creators Project spotlighted the abyss-like installation, Onion Skin, by French artist Olivier Ratsi. The project incorporated wall-sized screens that projected visual elements to match particular sounds, and the two elements evolved together, symbiotically creating an ebullient sensory narrative.
Void, a project by Russian art collective, TUNDRA, is very similar to Onion Skin, and TUNDRA is similar to AntivJ, the visual label Ratsi co-founded. Where as "Onion Skin" attempted (successfully) to hypnotize its viewers and bring them to a new dimension, Void is a "social experiment to see how long people can stay totally calm" as they're hit with a deluge of lights, color and soundwaves.
The two projects reach for the sky with regards to how strongly they aim to immerse the viewer, but the artists want to make participants succumb to the work for different reasons.
TUNDRA wrote on its website that Void is an attempt to "visualize the idea of emptiness." Remember that scene in I Heart Huckabees, when Mark Wahlberg and Jason Schwartzman attempt to reach a state of "pure being" by thinking of absolutely for a concrete moment in time? Void encapsulates the same idea--emptiness as "an initial state when anything can appear."
In the Russian installation, audience members enter a room where a 360 degree wall projects vortex-like imagery and sounds. It uses TouchDesigner software to handle Resolume and Abelton (the visuals and sound) via MIDI.
The technological aspects, as well as the rhetorical project goals, are similar to Onion Skin's setup. Ratsi, however, strived to suck users into his version of the sublime, a "new universe through a game of perspectives," he told The Creators Project.
Void, on the other hand, doesn't want to suck users in, but to eradicate the world they know outside the exhibition, leaving them naked and ultimately empty, like a newborn. Leaving the room should feel like a rebirth, a new beginning for your senses.
To truly experience the installation, you'll have to make a trek to Saint Petersburg's Loft Project Etagi gallery. You can still get a taste of TUNDRA's fascinating manipulation of perception in a video clip of Void, below.
Typically, you don't want to feel empty after leaving an art show, but for this work, that's the whole point.