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June-July 2015, André Sier was at ICST's Immersive Lab in Zurich (ch) for polish and adjustments on Hyperborea, a 3D haptic audio-visual immersive game-like environmental composition, on the new Immersive Lab's infrastructure, which will now be on tour on USA until the end of 2015 (California, UC San Diego @ CalIT2/QI, Gray Area, San Francisco, and more places to be confirmed) for public exhibitions and workshops focusing on developping more pieces for this immersive media infrastructure.

On this 3rd ICST residence there was some time to gather some thoughts about Hyperborea and the Immersive Lab on a video-interview, as well as produce videos while interacting with the piece.

You can read more about Hyperborea at ImmersiveLab site, as well as the videos, which are also embeded here.

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André Sier (2012, 2013, 2015)

An interactive immersive audio-visual environment forging the experience of traveling towards and inhabiting Hyperborea, inspired by ancient Greek myths, where in the land beyond the northern winds region, overseen by Borea’s ruling and dynamics, through a long and perilous journey, far far away, lays Hyperborea, an immersive geometrical land, whose society, sights and sounds remain an uncharted mysterious delight, where wild generative processes endlessly carve freely music, forms and spatial architecture, adjusted by wind dynamics, structuring a mythological engageable polis.

This project provides you the machine code infrastructure to walk this windy path to Hyperborea, through a game-like system architecture with 100 levels and haptic interaction, immersive 3D infinite spatium and localized virtual aural and visual spatialization. This vehicle opens its windows and offers you the controls. It’s up to you to reach it, touch it, or to get lost along the way. You may engage the path to Hyperborea alone, or collaboratively, or merely spectate its harmonic debris from inside the vehicle. Many have tried to taste its soil, feel its texture, rarely finding their destination.

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In this simulation, the visual and sonic composition, though experienced in time, is bound and scattered throughout virtual space. Levels are generatively stochastically and the hyperborean sculpture debris emanate distinct sonic properties, using synthesis of Red Noise, Poisson Noise and different kinds of Sinusoidal Generators, which are spatialized and amplified across a 16 channel sonic setup according to your position and orientation in virtual space.

Users of Hyperborea drive a single point of view through a six degrees of freedom synthetic audio-visual interactive environment, by placing their hands on screen, on Hyperborea’s Zero Joystick. The joystick allows you to travel in any direction as well as to brave against Boreas where you attempt to control his winds in his homeland. When multiple users interact simultaneously, Hyperborea’s Zero Joystick weights in all the interaction and computes an according democratic average decision. Hyperborea’s Zero Joystick is represented on screen through a perpetually rotating heptagon with variable speeds. If the interaction is within the circle you are driving the vehicle: you may go forward, backward, adjust your angles, bold against gravity; if you interact outside the circle and swipe, you are braving against Boreas’s winds, which in turn throw you and all the particles around according to its field dynamics.

Hyperborea is a virtual city within the piantaldelmondo series by André Sier which is a series of works in code, installation, drawings, objects, exploring the creation of virtual imaginary cities.


keywords: Hyperborea, wind, generative, virtual, city, abstract, voxels, game, audio-visual environment, simulation, immersion, space, speed, stochastic spatialized music.


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Hyperborea by André Sier, filmed at ICST in July 2015 and in April & May 2013 (video by jasch).

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Artist Interview with André Sier, in which he talks about the piece’s ideas, concepts and techniques, and about working in the immersive lab  (in English).