Immersive VR collaboration at The Void

South Australians will be able to experience the life cycle of a butterfly like never before, with an immersive virtual and augmented reality artwork developed through a collaboration at Flinders University’s The Void unveiled across the CBD.

Herding Caterpillars is part of Adelaide’s CreaTech City Challenge – an initiative funded by the South Australian Government, the City of Adelaide and the Adelaide Economic Development Agency.

Flinders Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts 2022 Artist in Residence, Rosina Possingham.

Presented by Butterfly Conservation SA, Flinders University’s The Void, and creative producer Rosina Possingham, the augmented reality (AR) experience is featuring the Chequered Copper Butterfly – a recently re-discovered species found in Adelaide’s Southern Parklands.

Herding Caterpillars kicks off alongside the launch of the 10-day Nature Festival on October 6, will be available throughout the festival and involves a trail of three sculptures located throughout the Adelaide CBD, which visitors can interact with via their smart phones.

From 14 to 16 October, the State Library of South Australia will host the Herding Caterpillars VR experience featuring a 360-degree recording of butterflies, plants and ants interacting – delivered through supplied VR headsets.

Herding Caterpillars is one of three projects that uses highly visible creative technology (CreaTech) artworks to help revitalise the city as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. For information, visit the Nature Festival website.

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels says Herding Caterpillars is a great example of the excellent and innovative results that can arise from a combination of technology and creativity coming together to form new experiences.

“The South Australian Government is proud to support exciting projects like Herding Caterpillars through the CreaTech Challenge. This incredible project brings together creative skills and emerging technologies to encourage investment in Adelaide’s public realm, while creating new, fun and immersive visitor experiences that attract people into the city.”

“This project will be an engaging and educational experience for visitors, and is particularly timely, given it falls directly in the middle of the school holidays.

It will be exciting to see more interactive public tech-art that enhance people’s experience of the city, improve wellbeing, and advance the cultural life of Adelaide.”

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels visits The Void at Flinders University.

Artist in residence Rosina Possingham says CreaTech funding has provided the opportunity to work with an incredible team to bring to life this unique South Australian story.

“This project would not have come together without the generosity of all our creative partners; CDW Animation, Flinders University’s The Void, and BEER Labs, a group of South Australian creatives who have come together to share skills, learn from each other and work collaboratively.”

“For me, the ability to share this unique story of symbiosis and collaboration between the caterpillar, ant and flower, in a fun, engaging way, has been an important driver behind this project. I hope that by telling this story, all generations are inspired to look more closely at our natural world, and care more deeply about conservation of our Park Lands.”

Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint says Flinders University is proud to be supporting talented creative artists like Rosina Possingham through our Assemblage Artist in Residence Program, by giving them the opportunity to utilise transformational motion capture and virtual reality technology.

“Being able to work at Flinders with the same technology as Disney and Pixar results in these kinds of outstanding virtual productions being produced in South Australia.”

“Herding Caterpillars is an extraordinary achievement, and will no doubt inspire students in the Master of Virtual Production to create their own digital productions, knowing they too have access to the Void as part of their course.”

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