An Elegy for the Departed - an Interactive Virtual Reality+Physical Computing Typographic Performance

January 5th, 2023 - May 5th, 2023

Categories: Applications, MFA Thesis, Software, Sound Art, VR, VR Art, Design, Creative Coding, New Media Arts

Elegy in EVL’s CAVE2
Elegy in EVL’s CAVE2


Written and programmed for EVL’s CAVE2 by UIC Masters of Design student Quentin Bu, “Elegy” is a highly experimental virtual reality work, merging the artist’s original poetry and audio composition, graphic design, 3D typography and physical computing activated through participant movement and gestures. Created as Bu’s Masters thesis - Elegy uniquely combines performance art with virtual reality.

To escape, to free, to grow, to part, to forget, to recall, is to reorganize and make choices about what to let go of and what to hold on to, and it is to physically leave a place and move far away without knowing if you’ll find a way back.

Writing is my emotional conduit, for the moments when strong emotions have nowhere else to flow: whether it’s journaling, composing bad poetry, scribbling on an airplane sickness bag, jotting down stream of consciousness, or repeating phrases in my head while wandering around unfamiliar streets. The Elegy is my poetic, perhaps futile attempt to consolidate and immortalize the transitory states of life.

My design methods include object-making, working with restrictions, experimenting with technology, and exploring metaphors. An Elegy for the Departed is a culmination of my creative endeavors with the media to realize them.

The Elegy is also a technological experiment. It is a performance using wearable technology to track body movements, connecting the physical body with a virtual digital metaphor for a body. What does typography in virtual reality spaces look like? How can I best use the technology I’ve developed to effectively tell a story?