The Tides Within Us is part of the launch programme for The Reel Store, the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, which opens in Coventry from Friday 13 May 2022, becoming a permanent new visitor attraction in the heart of the city. To create this project, Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF)—one of the world’s leading immersive art collectives—partnered with Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS.
Part of Marshmallow Laser Feast’s ongoing exploration into the world beyond the limits of our senses, The Tides Within Us is an immersive artwork, which investigates the flow of oxygen through the cardiovascular system, painting a picture of a human body as a fluid event, more like a whirlpool than a static object. This flow questions the boundary of where this living body begins and where it ends, dissolving any sense of separation and connecting us through breath to the rhythms that underpin life on earth. Ersin Han Ersin of Marshmallow Laser Feast says: ‘In this and other works we have created, we are seeking to repair our broken connection with nature through the experience of art. Placing the audience in the centre of a human inner system, we aim to bring them closer to an understanding of our interconnectivity by simply looking at our own bodies and seeing the rivers and tides through the journey of oxygen.’
Human skin is often viewed as a boundary between self and other: By peering beneath this sensorial surface we discover branching beings, ecosystems neatly packaged to move. The Tides Within Us aims to challenge the notion of boundary between our bodies and our environment. When our skin becomes transparent, our true nature is revealed: a complex system that intimately ties animal and plant, humans and the natural world, into a wondrous rhythm that underpins life on Earth. ‘To create awe-inspiring, emotional experiences like The Tides Within Us, Fraunhofer MEVIS provides access to highly specialized complex science and tech for artists. The aim is to build bridges for a broad audience and initiate discussions on real-world challenges in medical routine. Artists play a crucial role in sounding out future technologies and positive as well as problematic societal effects. They create reference points to navigate in this fast-paced, complex, changing, and uncertain world with their artworks,’ says Bianka Hofmann from Fraunhofer MEVIS.
‘The Reel Store will be one of only a handful of permanent venues in the world that can offer this unique immersive experience. I love the synergy with the former Coventry Telegraph newspaper building, putting art, wonder, thought, and data at the centre of how we engage people in our futures using state-of-the-art digital media,’ says Chenine Bhathena, Coventry City of Culture Trust.
This multiscreen work originally formed part of Marshmallow Laser Feast’s Observations on Being, commissioned by Mediale and Coventry City of Culture 2021, exhibited at Charterhouse Heritage Park, London Road Cemetery, Coventry, in Summer 2021. The Tides Within Us opens at The Reel Store alongside the exhibition, Machine Memoirs: Space, by internationally acclaimed artist Refik Anadol.