Eric Souther

Video, Code, New Media Art

Liminal Labyrinth, VR Experience, 2016

Avg. 15min, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

Liminal Labyrinth is a VR experience​ that allows you to traverse a spiritual​ labyrinth set in the woods. Liminal Labyrinth is a collaboration between Eric Souther and Dr. Kevin Ladd. It is both a virtual installation and a psychological look at the interaction of bodies and religious behaviors in digitally augmented spaces.

 

The Labyrinth works as a spiritual tool; nearly all religions have had some association with these winding patterns: Buddhist Mandalas, Native American Medicine Wheels, and Judaism “Tree of Life.” While the specific understandings and roles of these patterns differ across traditions, the labyrinth seems to be used as an aid in thinking about and understanding religion through embodied aesthetics.

 

Closely related to mazes, modern labyrinths typically are unicursal patterns. Instead of featuring multiple pathways and dead-ends common to mazes, the labyrinth has a single winding path leading toward a central open space and back out. Some argue that “sacred geometry” associated with labyrinths provides the ability to change the “energy” of the one who walks the pathway.

 

I worked closely with Waseque Qazi, a talented Game Developer​ in Buffalo, NY. Over seven days the game was built utilizing​ the HTC VIVE. In order to traverse a larger digital space with only a 15ft square physical space, ​we developed a way for you to rotate the world around you so that you can turn around and keep physically walking​ down the same path.

 

The project is supported by Indiana University South Bend Faculty Research Grant, Squeaky Wheel's Workspace Residency, and Buffalo Game Space. Special​ thanks to Ekrem Serdar and John Futscher.

© 2016 Eric Souther. All rights reserved.