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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Atemporal Memory

Atemporal Memory

Atemporal Memory is a Virtual Reality project that explores how technology influences our conceptions and perceptions of time and space. Particularly, digital memories that augment or distort the perception of time and space are interrogated. Atemporal Memory uses time as a tangible, interactive substance, an extended entity that can be grabbed, touched, and manipulated, creating a virtual space where past and present can coexist.

The experience of time is one of the most fundamental human experiences, deeply related to our consciousness. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan argues that current electrical technologies extend our senses, similar to how mechanical developments have extended our bodies. The change to an electrically instantaneous world has impacted our consciousness and influenced our central experience of time and space. Cultural theorist Paul Virilio describes the new, technological time as pure computer time, which constructs a permanent present, an unbounded, timeless intensity.

Atemporal Memory uses 3D depth cameras to record a real-time volumetric video stream. Two 3D depth cameras transmit a captured volumetric point cloud into an immersive, VR environment. In granting the user power to record sequences of their movement, the system enables them to interact with their own virtual presence and play with past selves. Moreover, users can control the playback of the captured volumetric videos by rewinding and fast-forwarding the video at different speeds. By transforming time into a tangible substance within virtual space, Atemporal Memory suggests potentials of acting as a choreographic tool to examine live performances, attempting to transform the linear time of a live performance experience into a dynamic non-linear experience of time.