- 10 Jun 20
Peter Power and Leon Butler hope to capture the beauty and inequality of quarantine with their “Shelter & Place” exhibition.
Peter Power and Leon Butler are asking Irish people to scan their quarantine environments for “Shelter & Space” — an ambitious digital art project that aims to connect our private experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In doing so, they say they hope to unite the private spaces that have become our world: “to share shelter with strangers so that we can know them in ways we never have.”
Irish people can sign up to be part of the project here. According to a YouTube video posted by the Carlow Arts Festival, participating entails using free software on your phone to take a 3D scan of your room, which will be made available to the public.
The artists will use these models to create “an interactive experience that mixes location mapping, spatial audio and dream-like vignettes.”
The project has a political edge. Power and Butler aren’t interested in comparing ideal quarantines; they want to explore how our experiences of isolation differ, and how these differences reflect society’s existing inequalities.
“The virus may infect indiscriminately, but its ability to do so has followed the well worn architectures of discrimination,” Power and Butler said in a press release. “Economic, social, age, race, geography, gender; all these factors and more have been exposed as causative agents in how the illness has spread.”
They added that as we take precautions against the virus, the loss of our freedoms “has been mutual, but the scale of those losses has not.”
“Shelter & Space” is one of six digital exhibitions the Carlow Arts Festival has planned. Organisers hope that these projects, called “slices,” will “connect audiences and artists… from a distance.”
Two of these slices have already taken place. In July, the festival plans to upload a series of 360 VR-enabled films curated by XR Producer Camille Donegan to its YouTube channel. That same month, organisers will display the winners of their open submission VISUAL Carlow contest on the festival’s website.