Experiencing nature can be as simple as walking outside, sitting in a park, or having a pint in a pub garden during lunch. Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), a British art collective, is bringing two installations to the Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM) each of which present a unique opportunity to be at one with nature in a way that you’ve never seen before.
Treehugger: Wawona and In the Eyes of the Animal aren’t your usual performance, 2D, or 3D art installations. They encompass technology, science, and art in a virtual reality experience that ‘encourage viewers to consider the challenges our planet faces in the twenty-first century.’ The installations could not be timelier, either, as the world grapples with issues of climate change and the Amazon is devastated by wildfires. Through cutting-edge technology, MLF brings us up-close and personal with elements of nature we don’t often consider and the process we never see through their two-part immersive display.
In 2017, Treehugger: Wawona received the Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award for its impressive, innovative storytelling process through its immersive installation format. What viewers see is chapter one of the story, titled Wawona, of what MLF expects to be a series that highlights endangered and rare trees. It tells the story of the Giant Sequoia trees and takes its name from the Miwok, a Native American people. Wawona was a word meant to represent the hoot of an owl who was the guardian spirit of the Giant Sequoia, which is now an endangered species of redwood. During Treehugger, viewers experience the cycle of water as it falls as rain, is then absorbed by the majestic trees, and converted into oxygen all through an incredible, otherworldly installation.
In contrast to being amongst the trees, In the Eyes of the Animal takes viewers soaring through the canopy where they encounter an array of animals and embody various ones along the way. Inspired by the Grizedale Forest in the UK’s Lake District, In the Eyes of the Animal uses virtual reality, LiDAR and CT scanning, as well as aerial 360-degree drone videography to capture the Grizedale landscape. As Treehugger brings you closer to flora, In the Eyes of the Animal does so with fauna.
Through the two installations, MLF’s message becomes crystal clear: that humanity is completely dependent upon the world, yet it is completely dependent upon our preserving its ecosystems.
MLF is part of the first exhibitions in OMM’s new modern and contemporary art museum soon to open in Eskisehir. Idil Tabanca, creative director of OMM, said of the project: ‘The project is an indication of the exciting creative collaborations to come and our commitment to celebrating artists that are pushing the boundaries of digital art.’ In addition to MLF’s installation, the inaugural exhibition will feature around 200 other works and is curated by Haldun Dostoğlu. The exhibition will begin September 8th and will run through December 7th.