Spring has arrived and there's a buzz in the city.
Marshmallow Laser Feast – the creators of In The Eyes Of An Animal and Treehugger – have launched their latest installation, We Live in an Ocean of Air.
The new experience is now running at the Saatchi Gallery, London until 20 January 2019.
We Live in an Ocean of Air is a highly interactive multi-sensory installation that highlights the deep connection between animals and plants. Blurring the boundaries between art, technology and science, the installation takes people on an unforgettable and moving journey like nothing they’ll have experienced before.
During the 20-minute experience, cutting-edge technology illuminates the invisible but fundamental connections humans have with the natural world. Participants will be transported to the oldest forest on earth to witness the power of the largest organism to ever exist – the giant Sequoia tree.
Greeted in the underbelly of the Saatchi Gallery, located on Chelsea’s King’s Road, visitors to We Live In An Ocean Of Air are met with state of the art virtual reality technology. A short backstory leads to a mesmerising world of nature and humanity, as bodies morph into their surroundings.
Kitted with a headset, backpack, wristbands and a heart monitor, We Live In An Ocean Of Air measures vitals which correspond to a true alternate universe. Breath creates floating blue orbs that – much like the rest of the virtual environment – can be interacted with. The oxygen running through their blood shows the whereabouts of fellow visitors.
At the very top of virtual reality technology, the move from the wide open space of the Saatchi Gallery to the base of a huge tree birthing life is seamless. From the exhilaration of the introduction, the experience encourages audiences to investigate their relationship with the natural surroundings. Waving an arm through the spiralling columns of colour morphs the world before them, as a glimpse of wildlife flows within it.
The experience is truly interactive, with the world bending to the actions of the visitors. A gentle flow of music heightens the otherworldly and truly transportive nature of We Live In An Ocean of Air. Each visit inspires new thoughts, actions and feelings, with visitors taking away their very own learnings from twenty minutes of pure escapism.
Two years in the making, We Live in an Ocean of Air is the brainchild of artist collective Marshmallow Laser Feast. “The DNA of our company is based around the idea that science is a window to a world beyond human perception” creative director Barney Steel explained ahead of the opening, “our interest is in translating fascinating scientific stories into multi-sensory embodied experiences”.
“We use awe and wonder to feed curiosity about other living things on the planet. The human being is part of a much bigger system of life and the prevailing scientific understanding is that there is no such thing as an individual, there are ecosystems where everything is entangled. The project is about how something as simple and everyday as breathing, connects humans to each other and to plants”.
The exhibition is particularly poignant in 2018, a year which has seen numerous devastating natural disasters due to man-made climate change, and is designed to inspire conversation about conservation. We Live in an Ocean of Air is now open at London’s Saatchi Gallery.
Tickets for We Live in an Ocean of Air are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk