2021 Assemblage Artist in Residence at Flinders

South Australian cinematographer and video artist Liam Somerville has been selected as Flinders University’s 2021 Digital Artist in Residence, with the Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts offering him the perfect environment to create a unique VR experience.

The Assemblage Artist in Residence program is available to practitioners and provides funds to work with industry leaders, academics, and students in developing trans-disciplinary creative work. The 2021 residence program runs from September – November 2021.

Somerville’s artistry pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with moving images and distortion in the world of virtual reality, playing with human interaction in the digital realm with the use of fame engines, interactive sensors, and hardware now available at Flinders University’s virtual reality and motion capture lab The Void, which is the largest facility of its kind in SA.

“The Assemblage Artist In Residence offers an incredible opportunity to enhance creative practices and open doors to new technological creative frontiers. I’m so excited to create and learn alongside students, technicians and academics at Flinders to create a unique VR experience,” says artist Liam Somerville.

“I aim to create a VR experience – Anthropocene – which is a simulation of the last 100 seconds of humanity on planet earth. The player is given no objectives but is free to explore the landscape to discover virtual dance, digital sculptures and the last remains of human life before their time runs out.

“The project will be created using the cutting-edge motion capture technology available in The Void at Flinders University. The data from actors and performers will then be piped into Unreal Engine to influence particle systems and character models. This world-class technology allows creatives like me to achieve hyper realistic virtual 3D animation.

“To gain a better insight into what the future may hold I have dived into the wealth of knowledge and thinkers available at Flinders to learn more about post humanism.”

Director of Assemblage, Professor Garry Stewart, says Flinders is thrilled to be hosting a truly exciting and visionary emerging artist, who already possesses an impressive body of work in the digital field.

“Liam is an engaging communicator who will be sure to make his presence felt among our staff and students,” says Professor Stewart.

“We look forward to seeing what emerges from his experimentations in our state-of-the-art virtual production facility The Void over the ensuing months.”

Deputy Director of Assemblage, Dr Tully Barnett, says the Artist in Residence program at the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences was developed to support creative practice and to facilitate conversations about artmaking and its influence in the world.

“It also gives our academic staff, students and postgraduates insight into the process of creative practice,” says Dr Tully.

“Liam’s project works with themes that Assemblage is very passionate about and by engaging with this work we can show another facet to the importance that creative practice research plays at Flinders University and in the world.”

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