This week, from March 16 - 17, at the immersive art gallery ONX Studio in Manhattan, New York, the exhibition Atmospheric Experiences will feature two new augmented reality installations by Latvian artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, which visualize the interplay patterns of terrestrial ecosystems, the atmosphere, and outer space.
Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits. Deep Sensing, 2022. RIXC Publicity photo
As part of the exhibition, ONX Studio will be hosting a public talk by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits on Thursday, March 16th at 6:00 p.m. (New York time), along with a discussion featuring the exhibition's curator, Vallejo Gantner, and the Artist in Residence of the Onassis Foundation, Marc Da Costa.
The two-day exhibition at ONX Studio Gallery will exhibit two works: "Deep Sensing, RT-32 Revisited" (2022), an immersive data visualization, and "Atmospheric Forest" (2020), a virtual reality (VR) experience.
Deep Sensing is an immersive artwork and installation by RIXC artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits on their return to the Irbene radio telescope, where 20 years ago they hosted the legendary radio astronomy and sound art symposium "RT-32. Acoustic Space Laboratory" (2001).
Deep Sensing explores how the role of this isolated communication facility and Soviet military legacy has changed today - when, after the grandiose plans for space conquest of the 20th century, issues related to climate and socio-ecological perspectives here on Earth have become more pressing. Big thinkers like Donna Haraway write about how to live on a "damaged" planet... Felix Guattari puts forward new "ecosophies" arguing that ecology is not only about the environment but also about the social and mental worlds and that it is no less relevant in the natural world than in the virtual world... And Bruno Latour calls for a return “down to Earth” to be capable of "terrestrial coexistence"...
In the new visualization, the giant antenna is no longer revealed as a massive object, but as a point cloud that rotates tracing the antenna's trajectory as it follows the signals of cosmic objects. Data from the observations carried out at the Irbene radio telescope are sonified and in combination with environmental recordings from the site creates an immersive soundscape.
Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits. Deep Sensing (2022). "Decolonial Ecologies", curated by Ieva Astahovska, Riga Art Space. Photo: Kristine Madjare
Deep Sensing was first exhibited in Latvia at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) as part of the exhibition Decolonial Ecologies at the Riga Art Space in the fall of 2022. The historical videos “RT-32. Acoustic Space Laboratory'' (2002), produced together with RIXC and Mārtiņš Ratnieks, will be exhibited alongside the new visualization in "Atmospheric Experiences'' at ONX Studio Gallery.
Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits. Atmospheric Forest, 2020. Esch - European Capital of Culture 2022. Photo: Franz Wamhof
The immersive virtual reality artwork Atmospheric Forest visualizes the complex relations between the forest, climate change and atmosphere. Trees are not only oxygen generators, but they breathe as well, and emit large amounts of volatile organic compounds into the air – we recognize it as a habitual scent of the forest. Scientists have long known about the link between a fragrant forest and the warming climate, but are uncertain about the impact and scale.
To create the Atmospheric Forest VR immersive experience, the artists scanned the ancient Swiss Alpine forest creating a virtual point cloud environment, and visualized the data provided by scientists. The viewer of VR navigates through the emitting trees, observes the forest from the bottom up, and continues to follow the path inside the tree trunk to get far up above the forest, becoming a part of an interplay between the climate change affected earth's ecosystem and atmosphere.
Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits. Atmospheric Forest, 2020. more-than-human exhibition at the Onsite Gallery, Toronto, Canada. RIXC publicity photo.
Atmospheric Forest is on view at OCADU Gallery in Toronto, Canada, until 13 May 2023, as part of the more than human exhibition curated by Jane Tingley.
The VR experience is also included in the exhibition "Critical Zones," curated by the curator of the Art and Media Center ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), Peter Weibel, and the French philosopher Bruno Latour, which continues to travel across Asia with the support of the Goethe Institute until April 6, 2023, and will be on view in Calcutta, India.
Photo: Kristīne Madjare
Artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smites are known for their visionary and networked artworks – from pioneering internet radio experiments in 1990s, to artistic investigations in electromagnetic spectrum and collaborations with radio astronomers, and more recent “techno-ecological” explorations. Their projects have been nominated (Purvitis Prize 2019 and 2021) awarded (Ars Electronica 1998, Falling Walls - Science Breakthrough 2021) and exhibited in Latvia, Europe, North America and Asia.
The exhibition is curated and organised by ONX Studio gallery. ONX Studio is a new augmented reality production and exhibition space opening in 2020 in New York City, located in the Onassis Gallery in the Olympic Tower in Midtown Manhattan. ONX Studio brings together a global community of artists who create interactive and immersive augmented reality (XR) artworks.
The exhibition is supported by the Art Academy of Latvia, Liepaja University Art Research Laboratory (MPLab) and Onassis Foundation. Partner - RIXC Center for New Media Culture
Contact: Liva Silina, RIXC Information Coordinator, +371-25358541, firstname.lastname@example.org
+371 67228478 (office)
+371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)