As I made my way to the once Steung Mean Chey landfill, code named “Smokey Mountain”, I could see it, the Giant of Phnom Penh. Before my trip many people had told me about the size and vastness of the tower, how it appeared to reach up to the heavens like god himself. My eyes followed the tower as it climbed, vanishing into the clouds, away from the naked eye. As I entered the city center I could see that the giant sees all, it consumed the skyline, giving an ever present reminder of the dystopian state Cambodia is in.
At the entrance, my guide greets me. I see that he is wearing some sort of device on his head. He informs me that by wearing this device he is able to see an augmented world, challenging the threshold between the physical and the virtual. I take the time to analyze the entrance and I see a gangly structure melded together using an assortment of different metals. The guide informs me that this is an input area. All along the pathway to the tower is a series of input banks. Data from E-waste is gathered and is inputted into these devices by the citizens. This data, he informs me, creates an augmented environment, which is imposed on the dystopian wasteland. Before leaving the entrance my guide gives me one of these AR devices and I get my first glimpse of the augmentation. The helmet picks up the adjacent AR code, and the once bare input comes to life, welcoming me and informing me of what data to input.
As we walk down the path way the augmentation intensifies. The path narrows and extrusions of AR strengthen, further contouring my viewpoint. The augmentation continues to gain enhanced resolution. My visceral experience becomes overwhelming. Adjusting to the sensory overload, I get my opportunity to input into the tower. To my right I see stacks of salvage desktops. I find a usable hard drive and climb the ladder, loading the data on the platform. As I do this I focus on the tower which to my senses appears to be evolving, creating form and shape while giving knew meaning to the notion of the mountain within this landscape. The extrusions are becoming synonymous with growth and tree-like formations, evolving up the concrete tower core generating its own mountain of fruition.
We exit the main path way. Looking around I see that the augmentation has continued to develop. The concrete tower starts to dissolve, blending solid mass and data, overlaying worlds of information.
We begin traveling up the solid core, climbing the labyrinth of ladders. I try to catch a glimpse of the skyline. The openings in the core begin to increase as I journey higher, intensifying the visual experience. Reaching a larger opening I stop and gaze out to the horizon. Overlooking the skyline I experience, through the AR, the appearance of the physical landscape dissolving.
Arduino based virtual reality device. Began personal interest in Virtual and Augmented realities. Device was created for internet plagued youth to meet on a higher visceral level in conjunction with virtual environment.
Constructing a virtual environment for Internet obsessed youth. In correlation with the prototype, youth enter the environment as avatars on the outskirts and meet at a center beacon. Creating a heightened visceral experience for the youth.
Section of procession & tower.