Ars Electronica Gardens Exhibition


Altered Realities

Leonardo/ISAST (US), Arizona State University (US)

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Reimagining a more vibrant, regenerative & just world

Altered Realities presents experimental visions to ReImagine everything for a more vibrant, just and regenerative world. Immersive VR and video art tackle challenges of climate change, war and human futures. Interplanetary VR links space exploration to earth sustainability with digital art to illuminate or inform each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This VR experience culminates in collaborative research with ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative and Leonardo, connecting space with the SDGs. The VR art environment designed and created by artist William T. Ayton with ASU Meteor Studio, features work by 15 artists selected from across the Leosphere. The War Room VR remediates and recontextualizes the anti-war, large-scale, painted installation The War Room: You Can’t Look Away (2004) created by William T. Ayton with Diana Ayton-Shenker. Originally inspired by the US invasion of Iraq, War Room VR responds to current aggression by exposing the human dimensions of war: Warriors, Victims, Witnesses, & Aftermath. It was created in 2022 using Blender and Unity, in collaboration with Meteor Studio, Aaron Toyne, and Lizzie Ayton. Turn it Around! flashcards and net art made by youth for adults aim to alter how we learn and relate to nature, the living world, and climate crisis. Youth-designed print and digital cards challenge adults to think, see and act in new ways, flipping who teaches who and how through art.


Leonardo/ISAST fosters transformation at the nexus of art, science and technology, because complex problems require creative solutions. We serve to empower an inclusive global network of hybrid creativity, a borderless community where all belong in pursuit of a more vibrant, just and regenerative world. Leonardo activates creativity to push the boundaries of today and unleash the possibilities of tomorrow. Leonardo-ASU turns scholarly insight into creative practice for global impact.


PARTNERS: ASU Interplanetary Initiative (US), ASU Meteor Studio (US), LEONARDO/ISAST (US)

The Interplanetary VR art environment features work by 15 artists: William T. Ayton, Bettina Forget, Annette S. Lee, Ellen K. Levy, Ranger Liu, Adam Hogan, Patricia Olynyk, Ryan Powell, Sarah Rosalena, Beyond Earth artist collective (Elena Soterakis, Yoko Shimizu, Richelle Gribble), Meredith Tromble, Victoria Vesna, Ian Winters.