Sitting under a highway

Interactive virtual reality audiovisual experience

Meditative immersive and interactive audiovisual art experience that places the user into an environment created with the insights (mindfulness), sounds (soundscape ambisonic recording) and visuals (photogrammetry and 3D video) acquired through the mindful exploration of the geographical location framed by the Don river and the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. What is addressed in this project is the theoretical and creative implications of an artistic practice based on the mindful exploration of the visual and acoustic richness of a specific geographical place, where the intuitive insights and materials collected through this mindful exploration are utilized for the creation of audiovisual art, in particular one that uses the experience of immersion and presence. This is done with the hope that art created with such processes can contribute to a better understanding of the disconnect that exists between post-modern society and our inhabited places.

The virtual reality space that the user inhabits gets activated through the combined measurement of concentration and relaxation done through the EEG reader. A hand tracker allows the user to also physically interact with it. Through mindfulness we engage with the environment.

Abstract: Postmodern society is characterized by an increasing disconnect with our inhabited spaces. The glocalization efforts made by commercial interests and the emphasis on the utilitarian conceptualization of the world affect local culture, contributing to a thinning out of the relationships with our lived places. Making reference to the standing-reserve theory of Heidegger; the geophilosophy of Edward Casey; Zen meditation; soundscape composition and other audiovisual art practices, I suggest that artistic processes informed by the attentive exploration of a geographical location may contribute to create awareness about the nature of this disconnect.

Sitting under a highway is a research-creation project presented as an interactive audiovisual virtual and presential space. By wearing a head-mounted display, a hand tracking device, headphones and an electroencephalography band, the audience experiences photorealistic 3D visuals and spatial audio that are the product of an artistic practice centred on the attentive aesthetic exploration of a physical place

Awarded Best Creative Work and Best Written Document, Digital Futures Graduate Program, OCAD University.


  • Visuals: Unreal Engine 4, VR HMD, photogrammetry & stereoscopic videos
  • Audio: Cycling '74 Max, ambisonic soundscape recordings (done with a custom designed B-Format microphone), realtime sound processing, 3rd order ambisonic spatialization, binaural encoding
  • Interactivity: Leap Motion (hand tracking) and Muse EEG Band (electroencephalography)


  • - OCADU GradEx show 2016 (Version 1)
  • - Electric Perfume solo exhibition 2016 (Version 2)
  • - VRTO Conference and Expo 2017 (Version 2)