Special Treatment

Special Treatment is an immersive and interactive Virtual Reality installation examining the strength and persistence of memory. Inspired by the black and white image processed PHSCologram, The Barracks , created by (art)n and the Shoah Foundation, a chilling ride by train car deposits viewers in a sparsely populated camp, pieced together from original plans, photographs and other visual artifacts from Auschwitz II/Birkenau, Poland.

As the visitors explore the camp and architectural structures, conversations and other pieces of the past fade in and out of perception – at times almost tangible, at other times just as ghosts. These structures and stories are not intended to be strictly historical or documentary. Each element is the foundation for the folding together of past and present; where the sounds and images of old memories blend with memories created by each new visitor. To provide each viewer with a truly immersive experience, Special Treatment is shown on a VR Portal. The VR Portal is a high-quality passive-stereo wall which uses the technology of the CWall (configurable wall) developed at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago and spatialized audio to immerse the viewer both visually and aurally. Although Special Treatment uses the holocaust as a context, the project creates an experience beyond time by focusing on the larger issues of persistence and memory. Events other than the holocaust could have been used as the basis for Special Treatment. However, any occurrence that exhibits the tragedy of ‘history repeating itself’ provides a powerful framework for taking a critical look at how and what people remember, how they change their thoughts over time and how cultural biases influence personal recollection.

Recent Exhibition History:

ICIDS Exhibition, Singapore, 2014

Art for A Better World / Art Basel Miami Beach Satellite Art Fair, Miami, 2011

Art in Virtual Reality, Waltham, MA, 2010

Art in Virtual Reality, San Jose, CA, 2010

Special Treatment can be experienced at any point during the scheduled time frame. 4-day pass holders get priority viewing.