A few days ago, I attended the beta testing project currently underway at The Museum of Sex, New York, titled: Celestial Bodies. From the website, MOS describes the experience as follows:
“Celestial Bodies is an immersive room scale VR installation that brings Diplo’s track “Set It Off” to a new dimension…this virtual reality experience is an exploration of anticipation, sexual attraction, identity, presence, touch, scale, comfort, daring and spatial awareness – around a shared infinite pole dance in a space.”
In pop culture, versions of Virtual Reality have been penetrated in the mindsets of the public in visionary films and books, such as: The Matrix, Lawnmower Man and William Gibson’s sci-fi book Necromancer, debuted in 1984. Celestial Bodies as an intimate environment brings to mind the Gibson quote:
“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts…A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.”
In this case, the shared non-space is not between you as the individual and the billions of the world, but a closely, staged atmosphere between 2-6 people (the participants) and your designated guides (provided by the MOS). The transformation that takes place is not just seemingly within the brink of your mind-scape, but all senses become involved. It is easy to become a part of the space, which questions the participants concept of the real. In some sense, Jean Baudrillard called it in his text, Simulations, when he stated: “We live already everywhere, in an esthetic hallucination of reality…” so what is the true simulation?
Check out Celestial Bodies, on the MOS website here.
All images are copyrighted and provided by The Museum of Sex, New York.