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ixi

sculptural virtual reality space

venice film biennale 2021
sxsw 2021
ctm festival 2020

Title: ixi
Material: code
Dimensions: dimensions variable
Year: 2020

About
ixi is a sculpture as walkable, virtual space. It is built by translating two hyperspaces into two 3-dimensional virtual objects. The hyperspaces are part of current (2020) research into the "theory of everything"; physicists' search for a unified theory, which describes why and how the universe and everything within it works the way we find it to work. Each hyperspace represents one possible mathematical outlay of our universe. Two hyperspaces form ixi. The hyperspaces are animated to morph slowly from one to the other over the course of 12 hours. ixi wants us to reflect on how we conceptualize and build virtual and physical space. Which space correctly represents the mechanisms of our universe? The sculpture is situated in a virtual outer-space environment with an AI-generated soundscape.

Experience
The transparent space is rendered visible only through the light reflected on its surface. ixi’s slowly morphing shape, incrementally changing light situation and AI-generated soundscape can be experienced in virtual reality. The visitor's body can take the form of a customized avatar and visitors can talk to and engage with fellow visitors. The algorithmic composition and AI synthesized sounds build a dreamy, abstract sonic field, which guides the visitor through the space. Through portals other spaces can potentially be accessed.

Shown
CTM transformation, Berlin 2021
SXSW online 2021
Venice Film Biennale 2021

ixi at state 0 viewed from the outside

ixi at state 1 viewed from the outside

What
ixi is a sculpture as walkable, virtual space. It is built on two hyperspaces. In ixi these two hyperspaces morph from one to the other over the course of 12 hours. Over the following 12 hours the morphing reverses. As a result ixi can be re-visited at different times of the day and will show different shapes at different times. The transparent space is rendered visible only through the light reflected on its surface. ixi’s slowly morphing shape, changing light situation and algorithmically composed, AI-generated soundscape can be experienced in virtual reality. The soundscape also includes AI-generated vocals. The music was the first officially released (by Byrke Lou) music using a new algorithm for AI sound synthesis developed by Google.

How
The hypergraphs are extended from 2d into 3d space, using 3d modelling software, which is used to create content for games and simulations. The morph animation is custom made. It  moves 3.400 virtual points from one shape to the other. The experience with background, lighting and controllers for maneuvering the space and interacting with other visitors is built in a game engine and the experience is then exported for VR or other suitable applications.

Why
ixi’s hyperspaces stem from current research into the theory of everything, which would explain the fundamental rules our universe operates on. ixi reflects on the question of how we conceptualize and construct virtual and physical space.

Credits
ixi was created by Byrke Lou.
The audio material for the inside environment and the AI glitchy whispers on the outside were extracted from Byrke Lou’s work complex bayes, mixed by Victor Van Vugt.
The AI generating the vocals were trained by Byrke Lou

 

Exhibition view

ixi as virtual reality space of the SXSW XR Online world 2021. portal within ixi to access the sxsw control room space

ixi at CTM Festival  2021. ixi's morphing shape in a time lapse, viewed from the outside

ixi , detail view as see at SXSW 2021, the Venice Film Biennale 2021 and CTM Festival 2021. moving through ixi's inside area and transitioning from inside to outside the sculpture.

ixi as walkable sculpture within the SXSW XR Online 2021 virtual reality world. the sculpture can be accessed via the round portal at the right side of the stage. Byrke Lou performs the SXSW XR Obline 2021 opening set "code_ixj" at the virtual SXSW stage.