portalis de communicatio
-BRCvr-

For the 2020 virtual burn Portalis De Communicatio (PDC) was uploaded into BRCvr, one of the recognized Burning Man multiverses for virtual burners to experience at full scale. This year’s VR format allowed for participants to be transported off into the cosmos and explore fantastical realms just as their collective messages will when the full scale artwork is installed at Black Rock City in 2022.

While experiencing PDC on playa, participants record messages with the understanding that their audio clips will be radio telescoped off planet into the cosmos. Additionally, the recordings are filed in an online database that plays on a continuous random loop at each of the surrounding figures. The audio files are filtered so that the voices on the recordings are unrecognizable. Listening to the previously recorded files gives waiting participants examples to help them decide who they might want to leave messages for and/or what they may want to convey.

The ongoing, ever evolving goal of Portalis De Communicatio is to shift the relationship between an art object and a viewer to that of an interactive framework and participant. The participant is has agency while maintaining anonymity. They are given a platform to say whatever they want to whomever they want, accessible to anyone and everyone, while maintaining confidentiality. This allows participants to express themselves without fear of judgement or reprisal. This encourages catharsis and even empathy in hearing our common fears, anger, pain, sorrow, desire, and joy; the entire gambit of human emotion that we all uniquely experience. By transmitting these messages off planet, PDC is also democratizing the voice of humanity originally conceptualized by the Voyager space probe and it's Golden Record.

Experience Portalis De Communicatio in VR for yourself here.

© 2020 by Sean Stillwell