Possible worlds… is an augmented reality work developed by Oliver Sahli and Chris Salter that explores the 16th century philosopher Giordano Bruno’s proposition that the universe is infinite, animate and populated by innumerable other worlds. Using head-worn technology to blend the physical world with the computer world, the installation taps into the human fascination with creating meaning from patterns such as constellations of stars and planets.
Two visitors at a time wear head mounted displays that allow the real physical environment of the Semper Observatory to mix with animated visions of the cosmos beyond the physical space. At the beginning of the experience, the visitors are confronted with a ghostly apparition of Giordano Bruno created by motion capture that wanders through the observatory space speaking fragments of words from his 1540 treatise “On the Universe and Possible Worlds.” As the figure begins to vanish, the dome of the observatory is overlaid with a vast cosmological universe that the visitors then begin to travel through while lying on their backs. Speeding past stars and planets, asteroids and the still burning remnants of supernovas, the visitors eventually experience entering Gaia BH1, the closest dormant black hole to Earth which is only 1600 light years away but which suddenly becomes alive in the final moments of the work.
Exhibitions and showings:
Data Alchemy – Observing Patterns from Galileo to AI from June 9th to 24th 2023 at Collegium Helveticum, Semper-Sternwarte
NIFFF Invasion from 30th June to 8th July 2023 at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival.