Press-Release 2014-03-28

Algorithmic Wanderers: John Gerrard Studio Presents a New Real-Time Art Installation Utilizing UNIGINE Engine

Vienna, Austria - March 25, 2014 - John Gerrard Studio, an art-group of the Irish artist John Gerrard, who has already realized more than 70 sophisticated high-tech installations and art projects, publishes a new real-time 3D simulation, first-based on UNIGINE engine.

The project titled “Exercise (Dunhuang) 2014” is a large-scale cinematic art installation by John Gerrard that takes place in the heart of the Chinese desert. It "overlays terrain, real bodies and sites using satellite data, intensive photographic documentation, 3D scanning and motion capture".

This is the official description of the new project:
For “Exercise (Dunhuang) 2014”, Gerrard commissioned an American satellite imaging firm to depth-scan these markings in order to digitally reconstruct the entire structure and its surrounding landscape. Into this simulation, set wandering through the vast road network, the artist places thirty-nine workers from a Guangzhou computer manufacturing plant, still wearing the blue uniforms and elasticated paper bonnets from that context. Players on what may equally be read as gameboard, landscape, or gigantic theatre stage, the workers’ paths across the grid are calculated and determined by the A* algorithm, as used in GPS routefinding systems.

When two participants meet, the actor closest to their goal continues walking, while the other must sit or lie on the landscape and rest. After a period lasting between 24 and 36 hours, only one remains standing. The process then draws to a close, the actors reassemble at the centre of the scene, the ground-level point of view gravitates around the worker who endured the longest, and the exercise begins anew—still without our knowing why (or for whom) this game, with its perpetual, seamless drift, is being played out.

The entire performance, play, competition or exercise is depicted by three different virtual cameras: from human head height, from the point of view of a circling low-flying drone, and from a satellite’s vertical perspective. Tasked with piecing together the data they deliver, conducting a dispassionate surveillance, the viewer is telepresent, omniscient, yet strangely disconnected; a processing channel for information flows with a possibly violent intent, contemplating the scene, constructing the narrative from above, striving to penetrate the logic of the exercise. Like the site in which it takes place, this is a performance whose eerie calm secretes paranoia, uncertainty, and a creeping awareness of pervasive systems of technological control.

About John Gerrard

John Gerrard - is an Irish artist, working in Dublin and Vienna, who already made more than 70 installations and art projects, best known for his sculptures, which typically take the form of digital simulations displayed using Real-time computer graphics.

“Exercise” - this is the series of works where Gerrard has increasingly addressed what was called the "military-industrial-media-entertainment network"– the convergence of media spectacle and military power, both operated through digital simulation technology. The problematic of the contemporary operation of violence, through the denaturalisation, optimisation, technologisation and traumatisation of the human body, as it is integrated into global networks of power and control crystallize in the concept of “Exercise”.

Website of John Gerrard Studio:

About UNIGINE Corp.

UNIGINE Corp. is an international company focused on real-time 3D technologies development. The company offers top-notch real-time 3D solutions for video games development, scientific research, simulation, visualization, serious games, virtual reality systems and more.

Website of UNIGINE Corp.:

Вена, Австрия - 25 марта 2014 - John Gerrard Studio, арт-группа ирландского художника Джона Джеррарда, реализовавшего более 70 сложных высокотехнологичных инсталляций и арт-проектов, опубликовал новый 3D проект, работающий в реальном времени, впервые взяв за основу движок Unigine.