On Saturday my family and I went to the Saatchi gallery to participate in the ‘We Live in Oceans of Air’ virtual reality experience. It was all about the deep connections between human and plant revealed through breath. We are often detached from our place and importance in the world when it comes to our symbiotic relationship with plant life: how plant life is the primary giver of all life – we breath out carbon dioxide and they use it for photosynthesis – to create glucose which all animals need to survive. By living and breathing we keep the plants alive and in turn they give us life.
To take part we had to wear a back-pack and pulse monitors on our wrists so that we can get an awareness of the blood pumping through our bodies. The headset took us into the the virtual natural world where a large tree took center stage. When I looked at my hands I could see my hand pulsating in red and orange pixelated light. When I breathed out I could see blue brightly coloured confetti all about me. As things progressed I could look below me and see water, what looked like luminescent roots swirling, insects and fish swimming rapidly under my feet. I could not see my feet or any part of my body, it was as as if I was floating. As the experience progressed, the tree transformed into swirling, streaming bursts of colour and light which I could manipulate with my hands and breath.
The Oceans of Air is an endeavour to help us understand our own relationship with ourselves as living breathing entities and our relationship with our primary source of life.