Venomenon Preview

Based on her on-going artistic research on counterfactuals in media art, Elke Reinhuber explores how narratives can be presented in a multi-layered manner. By fragmenting and dissecting them, the audience is challenged with a choice to create an individual storyline. Hereby, the inclusion of visual and acoustic elements multiplies the possibilities. The stereoscopic 3D video short Venomenon is enhanced with layers of various imaging technologies, accessible with Augmented Reality (AR) to provide an additional approach in accessing background information and different interpretations of the myth.
Orpheus turning his head as it appears on the AR layer, here with fMRI scan revealing his emotional brain activities.

Orpheus and Eurydice got married (we cannot know how happy they really were). Later, Eurydice is bitten by a snake and dies. In order to bring her back to life (again, there might be different reasons), Orpheus travels to the Underworld. He persuades Hades and Persephone to let Eurydice go, but her release comes with a catch: Eurydice must walk behind him as they ascend to the upper world, and Orpheus must not turn around to look at her. For some reason, Orpheus, just as they reach the exit, turns to look at Eurydice and she is sent back to the Underworld – in most versions – for ever.

How is it be possible to leave the interpretation of Orpheus and Eurydice’s relationship to the audience?
Can counterfactual thoughts be evoked within the spectator?
How can S3D and AR work together?
Is it possible for the viewer to construe the additional layer?

Around 100 versions with different relations between the protagonists, the reason for the rescue, Orpheus’ faux pas and the outcome of the ancient Greek myth exist.
The theme was interpreted in literature, music, theatre, fine arts or movies, as for instance by Virgil, Ovid, Monteverdi, Gluck, Offenbach, Cocteau, Camus and many more…

Single channel S3D video
the meta-narration with AR layer

Double channel installation
two opposing screens give inside into the emotional layer and approach to evoke counterfactual thoughts within the audience by inviting to turn their heads, mainly triggered by acoustic impulses in the 6-channel audio set up.
360° immersive version
for panoramic environments and mobile VR devices such as Oculus Rift. This variant focuses on the search in the endless labyrinth of the underworld.

An Augmented Reality (AR) layer provides an additional view on the physical and also the mental state of the protagonists. The image above shows an earlier work based on the same topic. The projection of a thermographic video reveals Eurydice’s body temperature being too cold to be alive, as she returns to the stage.
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Ballet production with Tim Plegge, for Staatsballett Karlsruhe, 2014