Sheffield-based art and emerging technology collectives Universal Everything and Human Studio have joined forces to create The Centre for Impossible Media, a VR exhibition platform enabling visionary artists working in fashion, music, film and others to immerse audiences in tailored creative virtual worlds.
The impact of Covid-19 on cultural institutions plus the increased accessibility of VR experiences with the release of the relatively affordable Oculus Quest 2 headset accelerated the studios desire to find alternatives to real-world spaces for video art.
The Centre for Impossible Media encourages artists to take their ideas beyond the boundaries of the physical and the constraints of geography, scale and logistics and realise the potential of fluid and permeable environments.
Streaming content directly into bespoke architectural environments which act as much more than a frame, The Centre for Impossible Medias first exhibition is UE VR: Beyond Human; a retrospective of exhibition of Universal Everythings artworks, exhibited in VR for the first time.
Universal Everythings Communion was originally made in 2011 as a 360 projection in the real world. In The Centre for Impossible Media its now housed in an impossibly tall cathedral-like space, with video art running hundreds of metres above and below a viewers head.
Superconsumers, originally made for a 30-metre-high department store facade, takes up residence in a VR fashion boutique where the ability to get close to the giant characters serves to amplify their giant scale.
The Centre for Impossible Media presents an opportunity for artists to consider digital artwork and the exhibition environment as one, with immersive virtual architecture thats tailored to optimise each piece. In UE VR: Beyond Human, petals from a Superconsumers character enter the VR gallery space and Supreme Believers synchronises characters being blown into dust with the sense of a virtual hurricane around the viewer. Human Studios Nick Bax says: Its like a process of osmosis where the art seeps into the environment; we escape the rectangle and draw out elements from the film content into the virtual environment.
As The Centre for Impossible Media and the capability of headsets develop, the possibilities for moving image exhibition on the platform are boundless.
Universal Everything founder Matt Pyke says: It will grow to allow artists, designers and producers from the film, fashion, art and music worlds to extend their creative vision and construct the ultimate home for their work. Theres the potential to live stream fashion shows, immerse fans in a bands music video, or wrap video around surfaces, objects and even the viewers hand. The platform may also enable people to seek out meditative solo art experiences, without the crowds of a physical gallery or museum space.
Universal Everything invites visionary creatives to get in touch to explore collaborations that will bring their ideas to life in The Centre for Impossible Media.