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 Sublime Synaesthesia 

 1 .0   (BETA) 

- Tom Teulon & Trude Bekk


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The passion caused by the great and sublime in nature, when those  causes operate most powerfully, is Astonishment;      and  astonishment  is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with  some degree of horror. In this case the mind is so entirely filled with  its object, that it cannot entertain any other, nor by consequence  reason on that object which employs it. Hence arises the great  power of the sublime, that far from being produced by them, it  anticipates our reasonings, and hurries us on by an irresistible force.  

(Edmund Burke) 

Encounters with the sublime appear increasingly difficult to find. The  great wildernesses are no longer reserved for a few bold explorers  but have become safely accessible to all in some form. Advancements  in technology, social media and nature tourism have supported and  augmented this shift but also supplied a new veil of certainty and  security in these environments. A pale imitation of the natural world  has taken hold in the public consciousness, pushing the truly sublime  experience further out of reach. 

Sublime Synaesthesia is an ongoing project exploring the borderlands  between the natural, the digital and the ephemeral. Using new  technologies to explore our relationship with sublime nature  and expose lesser known narratives which disrupt the prevailing  anthropocentric assumption that our natural habitat is simply an  inert commodity waiting to be better utilised. 

This first iteration explores the formation of the Oslo Rift, focussing  on 3 geological compositions commonly found in the area. This  location may seem an unlikely place to experience the sublime but  when examined closely these stones show the fingerprints of a deep  and violent history. Far from being inert, each of these specimens  have a long and storied past played out over millennia.  

Special thanks to Henrik Svensen for his expert knowledge and  endless enthusiasm. You Rock!

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This project includes VR, AR, video and sound installation and has  been produced from drone footage processed using Autodesk Recap,  Houdini FX, Spark AR Studio and Unity Game Engine. The soundtrack  has been composed using sonification of the exhibited rocks.

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Check out our basalt AR using this QR code



Asker Kommune

We are basing the project on real world locations and objects reimagined in virtual space, and the first iteration is based on drone footage taken at Skaugumsåsen, where the ascending layers of basalt and rhomb-porphyry are clearly visible.

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This text is gathered and translated from Henrik H. Svensen’s book ‘Under Asfalten – Oslos naturhistorie gjennom to milliarder år’. Henrik is a research professor in geology at the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway. Besides doing research and leading the Earth Crises group at the Center for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, he writes books and articles for a wide audience.

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