Nie bójmy się śpiewu ptaków (Let’s Not Be Afraid of Birdsong) - Agnieszka Suchocka International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Nie bójmy się śpiewu ptaków (Let’s Not Be Afraid of Birdsong) - Agnieszka Suchocka

Drawing on Stanislaw Lem’s concept of phantomatics and popular online film trends that explored anxiety through blindfolding and touching unfamiliar objects, this project looks at how virtual reality (VR) technology can help overcome anxiety. 

In his book Summa technologiae from the 1960s, Stanislaw Lem already predicted how VR would work, which he called phantomatics. Man becomes completely absorbed by a fictional space from which there is no way out. Lem explored the potential applications of new technologies such as VR, which could transmit sensory experiences at different levels to create a reality indistinguishable from the actual one. The main question posed by Lem was, how do we create a reality for rational beings who shall  inhabit it that would be indistinguishable from normal reality but subject to different laws?

Psychotherapists working with people with anxiety disorders often recommend imagining a safe place to allow them to calm down, take a breath, and completely disconnect from their mental space, in a way transporting them to a parallel reality. This can be a helpful tool in many situations. Using VR goggles, viewers of this project will have the opportunity to experience a virtual reality that can affect their perception and emotions. VR allows for exploring and gradually getting used to anxiety situations, potentially leading to gradual resilience, escape, or respite from the anxious state. The aim of this experiment is to raise awareness of how powerful this tool can be and how it could potentially be used in addressing anxiety disorders. 

Agnieszka Suchocka