Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021
Click here to book your place and experience The Terrarium Shezad Dawood's new oceanic science fiction VR.
Shezad Dawood works across disciplines including film, painting, neon, sculpture and Virtual Reality to deconstruct systems of image, language, site and narrative. His practice often involves collaboration and knowledge exchange, mapping across geographic borders and communities. Dawood is well known for Leviathan, a five-year multifaceted project exploring three urgent issues of our time: climate change, migration and mental health.
The Terrarium highlights the implications of climate change for marine ecosystems, and the consequences of rising sea levels, incorporating references to the Baltic and Kent coastlines. The VR experience transports you 300 years into the future where the surface of Planet Earth is 90% water. Transformed into a sophisticated cephalopod hybrid and released from a laboratory into the open seas, you are unexpectedly captured by future humans engaged in the pillaging of the planet.
The VR is accompanied by a wall painting that references the sound mirrors that punctuate the Kent landscape and signal a motif of listening: audiences are sonically immersed in Shifter: The Terrarium Triad, a new musical score by British composer Graham Fitkin that explores the “shifting baseline syndrome”. This theory suggests each generation makes an unconscious shift in expectation of what a healthy ecosystem looks like and explores our difficulty in perceiving how ecological, cultural or behavioural norms change over time.
Health and safety guidance:
This VR experience is not recommended for people under 12 years of age. Parental guidance is recommended for people under 16 years of age. If you are pregnant or suffer from any medical conditions, please consult your physician before attending.
Should you be unable to experience the VR due to pre-existing health conditions or age restrictions, we encourage you to experience a pre-human cartography of shifting landmasses, fractured continents, and new oceanic species alignments in AnthropoPangaea. AnthroPangea is an interactive map, accessible via phone or laptop that presents a version of the earth that refuses a colonial logic, while merging science with fiction to bring audiences of all ages closer to some of the planet's strangest inhabitants.
AnthropoPangaea is commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 by UP Projects’ as part of their digital commissions programme, This is Public Space, produced by UBIK Productions and funded by Arts Council England www.upprojects.com/projects/anthropopangaea
A public programme expanding on the exhibition and exploring its connection with the Kent coastline will take place in the Autumn. www.upprojects.com/projects/the-terrarium
The Terrarium is curated and commissioned by UP Projects for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 and Kai Art Center and is supported by CUPIDO, a project co-funded by the European Union, Arts Council England and Tallinn Culture Department. VR, duration variable, (featuring parts of Anthropocene Island TAB17 by ecoLogicStudio and excerpts from The Terrarium Inventory by Graham Fitkin). Courtesy of UBIK Productions.
Shezad Dawood, The Terrarium, Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021. Photo by Thierry Bal
Film by Oliver Parkin. Drone footage by Tom Bishop Photography