Parsons MFA Design&Tech

Alec McClure

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Depth Perception

A multimodal experiential installation

  • games-play
  • speculative-critical
  • virtual-reality
    Thesis Studio

    Marko Tandefelt

    Christopher Romero

    Writing and Research

    Loretta Joelle Wolozin

    Ethan D Silverman

    Depth Perception is a multimodal experiential installation set up to create pathways between and confuse the borders of 2 seemingly opposed spaces, one ‘virtual’ and one physical. Exploiting the flexibility with which our reality is constructed, it aims to challenge traditional systemic notions of truth. Depth Perception seeks to debase and deconstruct the conventional binary of abstract/mental and material/physical.

    Immersive technologies serve to mediate our perception of the world. An immersive technology experience can make us aware of the malleability of our sensory perception in crafting an understanding or interpretation of all that we deem external to ourselves. An emergent field, immersive technology art and design includes virtual and computer-mediated reality tools, which can be deployed to raise questions and close the gap between conceptions of what is ‘artificial’ and what is ‘real.’

    Jean Baudrillard, who coined the term ‘hyperreality,’ defines it as “a real without origin or reality.” In this most basic definition, stripped of any historical-cultural context, ‘hyperreality’ seems to suggest that fundamental authenticity is not only elusive, but without meaning. From this perspective, any understanding of the external world assumes a genericized role as yet another indiscernible layer of abstraction in an amorphous framework, existing without hierarchy. In this vacuum of both authority and meaning, the subjective experience of a unified consciousness becomes the basis for reasoning with one’s surroundings.

    Utilizing immersive multimedia tools, such as VR, for their impressive resolution of representation and effectiveness in bringing these questions to light, this project aims to evoke a sort of confused verisimilitude, suggesting a ‘hyperreal’ nature of existence, along with the arbitrariness and sentimentality with which we attribute authenticity to the perceived. The form of this project is that of a multimodal experiential installation, with the intention of creating a disconnect between the user and their environment. This installation takes place between an infinite number of room pairs, each room serving as a sort of loose reflection of its counterpart adjoined through a common window, with a shifting relationship.

    Alec McClure

    Alec McClure is a Brooklyn-based thinker, tinkerer and artist. Currently an MFA candidate in Parsons’ Design and Technology program, Alec has primarily focused his energy on using code as a manifestation of his internal dialectic. He is also an advocate for Linux and open-source platforms. Before coming to Parsons, Alec worked as an award-winning photographer, his work being featured in a number of publications, including Dwell and HASH magazine(s), as well as releasing 2 books of urban photography. In addition to his creative practice, he has a thing for numbers, having worked as a research analyst specializing in demographic analysis for broadcast television and the US Department of Commerce.

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