In the realm of virtual reality, we embark on a journey where sound and visuals attempt to obscure the boundaries between the virtual and the real. However, even within this illusion, we maintain a connection to the tangible world through subtle sensory cues. But what if we could augment those cues, allowing a more immersive experience? Can we also ensure inclusivity and extend the reach of traditional VR to accommodate users with disabilities?
Swirling Senses serves as a conduit bridging the digital and the physical worlds to create an immersive experience that aims to convince our minds of a “true” virtual reality. In contrast to conventional VR that isolates users, Swirling Senses takes an alternative approach, expanding the boundaries, striving to convince our minds of the experience. By integrating VR with theatrical sets, soundscapes, scents and live puppetry, the environment manipulates our senses to foster a heightened sense of reality. As we venture through this landscape, the evolving sonic atmospheres and intertwining fragrances create an illusion that engulfs us, leaving us immersed in the experience. Mysterious objects and creatures, brought to life by puppeteers, respond to our physical touch and proximity, further strengthening our perception of an authentic reality. Together, Swirling Senses challenges our expectations of VR, coaxing our minds into embracing a world that transcends the confines of VR, bursting the boundaries of the imagination.
Thomas Tucker (US), Tohm Judson (US)
The Swirling Senses Project creates an immersive experience bridging the digital and physical worlds. By integrating VR with theatrical sets, soundscapes, scents and puppetry, the environment manipulates our senses to foster a heightened sense of reality.
The School of Visual Arts (SOVA) at Virginia Tech offers an expansive undergraduate and graduate education in fine art, creative technology, art history, and graphic design.
The Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) advances research, innovation and education by bringing together faculty and students across disciplines; providing funding, space, support and expertise; and building mutually beneficial partnerships beyond campus.
Thomas Tucker, Artistic and Creative Director
Tohm Judson, Sound Design and Interactive Engineer
Rodney Kimbangu, Puppeteer, Videographer and Interactives
Lucas Freeman, Unreal Programmer