John Tonkin: Hauntings

 
  • ©, John Tonkin


Artist Statement:


    Summary

    Hauntings is a mixed reality portrait of Australian writer Francesca da Rimini. Hauntings uses virtual and augmented reality technologies to create a series of portraits of da Rimini and her writing. These stories are autobiographical and explore cultural diaspora and cross-generational family histories.

    Abstract

    Hauntings is a portrait of Australian writer Francesca da Rimini. Francesca was a member of cyberfeminist collective VNS Matrix. Hauntings uses mixed reality technologies to create a series of portraits of Francesca reading her writing. Her stories are autobiographical and explore cultural diaspora and cross-generational family histories. They act as spells and incantations and often draw from algorithmic writing techniques.

    The XR encounters seeks to recreate the experience of listening to da Rimini’s writing. These both share a deliberate tension of wanting to make sense of the world but also embracing fragmentation and a breakdown of meaning and a falling apart of the image. They both seek to call forth less mainstream perspectives of reality. The visuals are influenced by the Tonkin’s ongoing explorations into embodied perception and the relationship between the movements of a viewer and the active bringing forth of a world.

    I’ve been working with 3D technologies since 1985. This work is the first that I have made that takes the work into mixed realities. I’m interested in the multiple creative possibilities of XR and for this project I have explored a more fragmented portraiture.

    My recent work has explore embodied perception – how vision is an active process that is directed by the movements of the body. This work extends these investigations into mixed reality.


Technical Information:


    The work is designed to work both as AR and VR using WebXR technologies.

    The works re-configure themselves depending on the capabilities of the browser and the presence of any attached VR systems.

    This work was originally designed as a VR work but because of the COVID-19 situation I have reconfigured it to work online and to work with AR as well as VR. I’m using an opaque version of AR that feels somewhat closer to VR.


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