And that's because we're too busy tapping into the quantum energy of the universe.

By Harmeet Chagger-Khan, Artist & Creative Producer

Everyone loves a good story right?  It's how we make sense of the universe, understand it's mechanics, learn the basics of right & wrong & reconcile with the complexities of human nature.  From the very first bedtime story you'll have ever heard, to confessional tales around the campfire,  stories inspire and offer different points of view, that allow us to find a point of connection & gain a sense of belonging with one another.   For me, watching films like The Goonies & Star Wars, only added to my love for a well spun yarn and a tale told across an epic adventure by the unlikeliest of heroes.  My love for movies further cemented a desire to tell other people's stories and film would become my artform du jour.

To add to that, I remember being truly fascinated by the universe ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  Why didn't the moon fall out of the sky but a badly made lego tower would come tumbling down?    What would happen to humanity when the sun became a super red giant a million years from now?  And why did the back of a neck burn so effectively, when a well placed magnifying glass was held in the right position on a sunny day?

It was obvious to me then and still is now, that artists, scientists and children all spin a similar energy.  One is driven by an innate curiosity for the world, another wants to harness the intangible energy of creative expression and the last seeks answers to the most complicated of questions through systematic approaches.  So why wouldn't we want those worlds to collide?  Aren't we all inherently Renaissance individuals calling upon our polymathic tendencies to solve problems, engineer realities and communicate brilliantly to incite change within society?

For the past decade I've put social engagement and harnessing those Renaissance qualities at the heart of what I do through my artistic practice.  And the tension between those different disciplines & modes of thinking, offer a richer framework for engagement & cultural understanding.    Some of the most interesting projects I've been a part of, have had artists, scientists, architects and technologists working together to tame the 10 headed leviathan of creativity.

For me, that collaborative process is vital to create a space where ideas can come to life & as new technology continues to pervade our everyday lives, it's the perfect bedfellow to push how people interact & engage with art & shift from being passive spectators to proactive consumers.  It's this brand new world of VR & AR that now excites me, as my work now shifts from film to immersive environments and multiple points of view that blur the boundaries between reality & the imagination.   I'm interested in exploring how VR & AR have the potential to add value to peoples lives by harnessing emotions and connecting people.

Of course with any new technology there's the question of ethics, boundaries, persuasion & influence.  Can we handle these new visceral immersive environments?  Or will we end up becoming addicted to 'faux realities' which in effect are ultimately 'Better Than Life'?  Or will it be able to help solve answered problems by allowing us to make sense of the world around us?

As we navigate through this new universe, all bets are off and the only caveat is there are no rules.  And that my friend, is an incredibly exciting landscape to be playing in.

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