The State of Us Exhibition
Digital Creativity Labs is part of The State of Us, a new exhibition at The Lowry exploring body modifications without boundaries.
Running until February 2020, the exhibition features a collection of work from contemporary artists who have experimented with the body and technology to transform, manipulate, reinvent or reshape how we see and understand ourselves.
‘Virus’ by Professor William Latham takes visitors on a virtual reality (VR) trip through the microscopic - and unexpectedly beautiful - world of the herpes virus. The result is a mesmerising, intricate 3D form for the viewer to interactively explore in the VR room.
Using a scientific computer simulation to capture the virus’ internal molecular dynamics and protein components, the viewer can control their journey through the VR virus world using simple hand and head movement.
Working in collaboration with the software and research teams as part of this installation, William created scientific illustrations to make the elaborate spherical structure of the virus accessible to the wider public through the use of novel VR and visualisation tools.
Lucy Dusgate, curator of the exhibition for The Lowry, said: “Mary Shelley wrote in Frankenstein that the human body was a ‘workshop of filthy creation’ – and never has that statement been so accurate. Technology has enabled us to imagine the distance between truth and fantasy. It’s a fascinating topic and one we think our visitors will enjoy exploring.”
The project, a collaboration between the University of York Mathematical Virology Group, Goldsmiths Mutator VR Research Group, Oxford Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and Christchurch Studios.
Professor William Latham of Goldsmiths, University of London and Digital Creativity Labs is a designer of computer games, a computer artist and entrepreneur. He is an expert in evolutionary art, graphics, generative art, genetics, and the entertainment and video games industries.
The installation is an evolution of the Mutator VR technology created by William and Dr Lance Putnam, and used by 2018 IMA Gold Medal Winner, Professor Reidun Twarock from the University of York to visualise how viruses mutate.