MTNM Lunch Talk Presents: Mary Finn-Saisselin

Mary-Saisselin

2D Photography in Virtual Reality

Mary Finn-Saisselin is a recent graduate of Paris College of Art’s Transdisciplinary New Media MFA program. Her foundation is in set design and art direction in cinema. Working in the film industry gave her the tools from which she began exploring virtual spaces. Within a virtual space, she discovered the freedom to explore environments without the restrictions that brick and mortar designs impose. The artist’s interest focuses on the re-interpretation of 2D digital portraiture photography in virtual environments.

In her virtual work, Apparent Connection, she seeks to understand how our collective relationships are affected by the barrage of images received on social media and how this alters how we relate to one another as individuals in the real world. The viewer is situated inside a 7-meter diameter translucent cylinder. Movement of the observer triggers the portraits to rotate and overlap. It is up to the viewer to move around inside the cylinder and discover how their position alters the movement of the images.

Digital Contemplation is a virtual reality piece that urges to have the viewer slow down and take notice of gesture, movement, and presence. Finn-Saisselin has arranged 8 spokes each containing 24 images which radiate from the center of the virtual space. The movement of a slow-motion video of a girl turning has been broken down into individual gestures and increments of time. This room scale VR piece lets viewers explore photographs in a way that is only possible in a VR experience. Observers can walk through the images or position themselves in a way that a traditional gallery experience precludes.