Growing out of the Fish Island Labs artistic residency, London-based interactive visual artist Matteo Zamagni’s latest deepdreaming project  brings him into the space of virtual reality. He tells The Creators Project that Nature Abstraction came out of “extensive research” into the immersive sensation tied to “consciousness, quantum physics, neuroscience, sacred geometries, fractals, ancient civilizations, the etheric body, the astral plane and so on.”

Zamagni’s installation allows viewers wearing an Oculus Rift to explore the complexities of 3D fractals depicted as three different planets with imagery from the Deepdream neural network, projection-mapped visuals, and analog effects onto the cube housing the experience.

Nature Abstraction – Video Interview from øøøø on Vimeo.

Designed to trick the mind into thinking VR is as physical reality, Zamagni wants viewers of Nature Abstraction to ponder how accurate our perceptions really are. “We rely too much on our senses and we tend to be constrained by them,” he says. “Meditation is a big part of where this idea came from. At a certain level while meditating I could feel some sensations that I’ve never felt before, and that was the spark that led me to this idea.”

“The cool thing to me is that these planets are purely abstract as they originally come from simple mathematical formulas,” Zamagni says. “But they indeed describe very familiar shapes to the human eye that can be reconnected to natural, biological forms and also man made geometric ones (architectural, and also the structure of microchips).”


To build the virtual reality planets, Zamagni designed the fractals inside the Mandelbulb 3D software. He then created 4K renders using a 360-degree camera, and brought these renders into After Effects for post-production and editing. Working with programmer David Li, Zamagni then exported the 4K visuals in to Deepdream, splitting the frame into four parts to obtain high resolution. After this, the videos went into TouchDesigner so that Zamagni could run the Oculus Rift in real time, connecting it to the videos and soundtrack.

Zamagni says the projection-mapped visuals were recorded in “real life” using analog techniques, including: feedback recording from a projector, light refraction, water reflection, microscopic elements, macro liquids, semi-transparent plastic filters and more.

Nature Abstraction – Fractals Excerpt from øøøø on Vimeo.

Ultimately, Zamagni hopes viewers come to appreciate what he discovered with Benoit Mandelbrot’s fractals: that they have many similarities to the world around us. “I wanted to recreate a world entirely made of 3D fractals so that people could experience these similarities in a concrete form, and so the Rift came up as a straightforward choice,” Zamagni says.

“My friend Daniel Ben Hur and I created scores designed specifically to help the audience get into relaxed, meditative mind states, with the aid of binaural beats (which I often use to meditate too),” he adds. “Each planet has it’s own different binaural beats frequency, so the longer you are in the virtual reality, the more relaxed you will feel.”

Nature Abstraction – Mapping Excerpt from øøøø on Vimeo.

Learn more about the artist here.

Via The Creators Project

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