QUAD has commissioned the Latvian artist Zane Zelmene to produce a new, immersive digital installation for her solo exhibition ‘The Specious Present’, featuring new VR works inspired by the natural environment and landscape of the county of Derbyshire, specifically the Peak District – including the prehistoric Stone and Bronze age henge monument Arbor Low Stone Circle. Zelmene has scanned and filmed in this once sacred site to create a VR experience of natural and man-made objects.
Inspired by Neolithic art, ancient myths and modern theories about stone circles – Zelmene’s exhibition features an ‘extended reality’ installation that merges real and virtual worlds to create an immersive experience – drawn from her research trips to Arbor Low Stone Circle – where the viewer can interact with virtual space and time within a VR headset and the actual gallery setting from their own point of view.
This ‘point of view’ will relate to multiple meanings in terms of what it means to be bodily in a place and that what is possible in one moment can differ to another. The influence and extent of this depend on our chemistry with a place. The timing at which we are exposed to a place also amplifies, dampens or mediates its influence. The longer we remain at a place the more influence it exerts. Zelmene’s installation studies the effects of visual and sensory rhythmically occurring natural phenomena that can act as cues in the regulation of the body’s circadian rhythms – similar to a ticking clock, a sun-dial or chimes from a bell tower – presented in different types of real and virtual gallery settings.
QUAD would like to extend special thanks to English Heritage and the custodians of Arbor Low Stone Circle.