Chalkroom a.k.a. La Camera Insabbiata by multimedia pioneer Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang is a virtual reality work in which the viewer—flies through a structure made of words, drawings, and stories.
Chalkroom received the award for Best VR Experience at the 74th Venice International Film Festival. Inside the experience, the viewer is free to fly, while words sail through the air guided all the while by Laurie Anderson’s voice.
“The giant chalkboards are symbols that represent human memories; although they can be erased and written on repeatedly, the old memories linger on and will not disappear.
Countless giant chalkboards construct a vast virtual space, like an enormous labyrinth of memories. Guided by Laurie’s voice, visitors enter the dream-like world, and freely fly about in virtual reality. The work consists of eight different rooms. The Cloud Room features a galaxy of text like spinning nebula; in the Sound Room, voices of visitors talking and singing will be converted into sculptures. These unique rooms convert abstract symbols into concrete and interactive physical presences, allowing visitors to explore within them the connections between written words and memories.
VR and the “new media” we talked about in the past are greatly different. From an oriental perspective, artist’s concept must find a suitable physical material as its medium, and this is referred to as the “outer appearance;” No matter they are electronic circuitry or computer-generated imagery, an artist must find a medium that carries his or her imagination. However, VR releases all energy hidden within the possibilities, and in a world created by VR, imagination is the only limitation. In this world completely created by their imaginations, creators make the rules; from gravity to a grain of sand, they can decide the entire VR world whatever they want. This unfolds limitless possibilities for creations.” [Hsin-Chien Huang – storynest]