The project A Sense of Gravity started with Teun Vonk’s investigation into the manipulation of the senses and sensory perception connected to the registration of our own posture and our surroundings. Starting from the metaphorical aspiration of human beings to defy gravity, Vonk asked the following questions: How can I challenge the logic of gravity, of the bodily perception of gravity, with a machine or installation? Can I expand the boundaries of our everyday perception of gravity?
How can I trigger the body into rediscovering the sensation of gravity?
With support of CBK Rotterdam (Centre for Visual Arts Rotterdam), his artistic research led to a prototype: a flying suit that lifts the wearer up with airpressure. The prototype premièred as a performance at Hubs Immersive Festival in The Hague in november 2017, in collaboration with The Grey Space in the Middle.
A Sense of Gravity developed into and interdisciplinary research project that blends the boundaries between science, design and visual art.
With this experience, Vonk started to explore how he can evoke a sense of weightlessness with visual and bodily sensations. Currently Vonk collaborates with programmers and researchers at TU Delft, as part of the Crossing Parallels program of TodaysArt. Together they are exploring how technology can manipulate one’s physical perception of gravity. Vonk will develop this prototype artistically into an immersive installation that will première in 2019.
While being immersed in the installation, the viewer experiences a bodily sensation of weightlessness. This experience causes a new perspective and perception of gravity on an individual level. With a Sense of Gravity, Teun Vonk creates awareness of our human sensibility and new perspectives on the relevance of our physical being in the digital culture of the future.