Créaction: Symbiosis

Two people create an ephemeral painting in VR through their movement.

Créaction: Symbiosis is an immersive installation that allows two people to collaboratively create enormous dynamic 3D paintings in VR. 

This installation combines Sonya Khalfallah’s gestural aesthetics from her Traces series with John Desnoyers-Stewart’s approach to facilitating social VR experiences. Participants wear headsets and paint through amplified gestures that extend far beyond their bodies. Each equipped with a different dynamic brush, participants see only their hands and the traces they create together with their partner, focusing them on their interaction with the sculptural form and with each other. 

To spectators, the participants’ movements are transformed into a simultaneous dance performance augmented by a colourful tableau. Their movements leave unique, ephemeral traces that briefly linger before vanishing—a kind of temporary virtual imprint that represents the momentary symbiosis in this chance encounter. 


Available to experience in the Virtual Arcade at SIGNALS, Oct 1 and 2. Book your free ticket online!

Key Artists: Sonya Khalfallah Riahi and John Desnoyers-Stewart
Project Runtime: 5min
Project Type: Collaborative VR Experience

Lead Artist, Concept, and Aesthetics: Sonya Khalfallah Riahi
VR Development and Experience Design: John Desnoyers-Stewart

Sonya Khalfallah Riahi is a multidisciplinary artist-researcher with a PhD in Aesthetics, Science and Technology of the Arts from Université Paris 8. She creates interactive and immersive art and performances that merge bodily gestures with emerging technology. She is interested in involving the public in her artwork to enable creativity and connection.

John Desnoyers-Stewart is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher and PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. His multi-user installations transform real bodies into ethereal forms and incorporate physical touch in the virtual world, encouraging immersants to see and experience each other in a new light.

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