Amidst the anthropocene and the degradation of the natural world, we find ourselves having the technological means to create highly photorealistic and immersive digital worlds. We gradually migrate all aspects of our lives and social interactions online, seeking solace in artificial worlds as if we could eventually fully inhabit them. This transformation has brought along an obsession to digitize and quantify all aspects of the physical world, either to make accurate predictions, or to build convincing replicas and experiences within those.

Ethereal is an immersive audiovisual installation, placing the viewer within a vast virtual cloudscape. The clouds featured in the work were digitized using photogrammetry, a technology designed for capturing solid objects and environments. The inherited artifacts of the process is a reminder to our vanity of capturing the intangible and our attempt to digitally recreate the heavens.

The underlying generative system allows for a constantly evolving and never repeating view of the sky without a beginning or an end. Rather than a linear structure, the piece unfolds in cyclical patterns reflecting the passage of time and the weather cycles in nature. Cloud formations accumulate over time, building up storms that release their energy before the sky returns back to a state of serenity. The visuals are accompanied by an equally evolving soundscape in sync with the cloud formations.

Audio: Alex Retsis