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“The View from Nowhere” [2022]



This installation, utilizing a head mounted display (HMD) and a 9.1 channel 3-D sound system, creates in an anechoic room an environment that doesn’t exist in reality. Coming from a real, physical space, the visitor makes a seamless transition into the surreal experience of this virtual, entirely different kind of space.
In the work, titled after philosopher Thomas NAGEL’s book “The View from Nowhere*” from 1986, the artist explores by way of virtual reality (VR) and an artificial acoustic environment the question how one can acquire a “view from nowhere” that sublates the aspects of subjectivity and objectivity of an action.
The experience of this work causes shifts in the relationship between sensation and movement as cultivated over the course of the viewer’s life, as well as in the relationship between memories of past (or anticipated future) experiences and the “here and now.” It thus functions as a mechanism that brings us closer to a view of the world from neither a first-person nor a third-person perspective.

Most of the spatially moving sounds that are part of this work, are being generated in real-time, so that each experience results in the generation of a different virtual space as a living environment. For example, actual sceneries that the viewer looks at, are converted into audio, or the complex movements of invisible boids (simulated flights of flocks of birds) in a virtual space produce sounds like those of waves.

*Published by Oxford University Press.

Concept: MASUMORI Atsushi, IKEGAMI Takashi
VR Development: MASUMORI Atsushi
MR System Development: MARUYAMA Norihiro
Sensor Development: johnsmith
Generative Sound System Development: DOI Itsuki

3D Audio System: KUBO Jiro
Equipment Cooperation: SEE by YOUR EARS
Supported by ALIFE Lab.



Related Information

It takes about 20 minutes for each session and visitors who can experience this installation, one at a time in the anechoic room. Thus the number of visitors is limited.
(2022.11.16 noted)

Please note that, depending on the number of reservations already made when you arrive at the ICC, you may not be able to experience it on that day. Reservation tickets are issued at the site, and visitors will be called in turn according to the numbers on their tickets.

For safety reasons we ask that persons to whom the following apply refrain from experiencing the installation, since the physiological impact may be acute.

- Persons getting drunk
- Persons feeling ill or just unwell
- Wheelchair users
- Children below 13 years old
- Persons suffering from claustrophobia or acrophobia
- Persons with difficulty expressing their intentions when they need an emergency stop

List of Works