VR – coral reefs

As one of the 1st of 60 artists-in-residence with Google’s Tilt Brush, a portal of awesome opened up for me! Immersed in a dark space, magical colorful dream world comes to life before your headset-wearing eyes with your movements. The “brushes” are a mix of markers, paint brushes, physical-feeling extruded light, audio-activated pulsating colors…it was such a great residency.

Playing with materials without any outcome in mind is so important to my well-being. Even with an idea in mind, letting the tools illuminate the way is a candy-colored high of inspiration.

Since the residency, I’ve been invited to create work as an impromptu, live performer for various events. Most of the time I’m in the flow of making something that is projected onto a large monitor in real time so the audience can see what I see. It’s a fabulous job and I hope to do more soon! One event was Virtual Tomorrow in landlocked Columbus, Ohio. How great to be able to create reefy scenes and talk with attendees and local tech team about corals and Living Sea Sculptures while so far from the ocean.

On the other side of the discussion, some people express anxiety about Virtual Reality. Clearly, VR has its distressing arenas, as with all tech innovation that leads to roads unknown. So, use it as a tool to highlight what matters to you. For me, that’s the coral reefs, marine world, surreal nature, and healing the environment that we all share through imagination, collaboration, and action. Being able to move in space and wave wands to create 3D worlds is magic.


Electrifying a Reef

Part one:  Will I be shocked if I touch the sculpture while the current is flowing?  NO.  According to Dr. Thomas Goreau, President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance when asked who will be liable if someone gets shocked:

“There is no possible chance of injury from the very low voltage direct current used, and the circuit has fully automatic instantaneous shutoff capability if there is any damage to the cable. We have installed more than 300 such projects in around 30 countries all around the world, and never had the slightest problem. When we install it, I will short out the circuit holding the anode and the cathode in my bare hands to show that you don’t feel anything if you do.”

Here you can watch the installation of a Living Sea Sculpture:

And another one:t

Coral Skirt

"Coral Skirt," by Colleen Flanigan. Pemuteran, Bali. copyright 2009

Komang Astika and Made find the location in Karang Lestari (Coral Protection Project).  The small sculpture will cement itself to the sandy seafloor.