Jennifer Steinkamp's virtual reality By Paul Laster
A visual artist who crafts computer-animated projections for site-specific spaces, Jennifer Steinkamp uses her work to explore new means of producing and experiencing art. Employing virtual-reality software like a painter wields a brush, Steinkamp constructs lifelike installations of nature in motion, derived entirely from code.
The artwork is interactive. Steinkamp builds her pieces in relation to their site's architecture, and sets the projectors at a low level so the viewer's shadow disrupts the imagery, provoking a playful point of immersion.
She captures the wind. Programming trees to twist like whirling dervishes and vines to gently sway, the artist breathes life into still spaces by digitally recreating environmental conditions.
Perception of space is altered. Stepping into one of Steinkamp's grand illusions can be disorienting, as the projection dematerializes the architecture, causing some spectators to get woozy, and others to happily leave in a trance.
View animations on the Steinkamp's website, check out her gallery page, watch a video of Dervish, and buy her monograph.