Sleep of Reason

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The Sleep of Reason Still Produces Monsters is a collaboration between artist Xavier Sole and VR design studio Mbryonic. In it, the user is transported to a virtual version of the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern where they are taken through a dreamlike sequence of extraordinary events.

The experience is inspired by three paintings of Goya: the Hill of San Isidro, The Pilgrimage of San Isidro, and the Great He-Goat. In it, the audience feels the evolution of the same scene, from a cheerful celebration to a pilgrimage of dark characters heading to the hermitage on an Idol. The experience evolves based on the dreamer’s actions.

The Sleep of Reason Still Produces Nightmares is the first in a planned series of experiences based in virtual versions of real galleries as part of Mbryonic’s Appropiation project. The idea of the project is to explore the role of galleries of the future, and interrogate how new immersive digital art can be informed and inform the spaces they are viewed in.

Xavier Sole is a visual artist whose latest work is highly inspired by Goya. His practice is focused on the study of playfulness and its relation with satire and technology. Through nasty interactions, Xavier Sole invites the audience to engage with dark pleasures in cathartic, humoristic experiences.

Mbryonic is a design studio run by Tom Szirtes and Xander Adderley. Mbryonic’s interest is connecting artists and audiences in new engaging ways through virtual and augmented realities. Veil, an earlier VR collaboration with Iain Nicholls debuted at the Barbican and was listed for a Lumen Prize. Tom Szirtes and Xavier Sole met at Fish Island Labs, the digital art incubator programme run by Barbican and The Trampery.

This VR installation will be on display at various events over the Summer.

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