IN MY ABSENCE
Reality is fragile. Put on a VR headset and you’ll immediately feel how easily your brain can be fooled. What’s real, what isn’t? For children with absences, this is daily reality…
What is real and what is not? In My Absence let’s you enter the experience of children with absence epilepsy, and bring you up and close with the physical sensations of absence epilepsy.
In this roomscale VR installation three voices with absence epilepsy will guide you through their seizures. You will not only hear their story, but briefly enter their reality. It starts out almost documentary-like, but quickly escalates into a sensory dreamlike experience where the viewer, much like the children, loses control and enters a world that cannot be described by words. By matching the stories with pure experience, we create a language to describe absence seizures millions of youngsters suffer from.
Background: Children with absences suffer from seizures in which they are ‘gone’ for a few seconds, sometimes multiple times a day. The scientific paradigm is: there’s no consciousness in seizures. We’ve challenged that. We asked ourselves the question: Where are they, in their absence? By talking with experience experts, we found words and visuals for absences and started to change this paradigm. Through the intense sensory and embodied experiences VR can offer, we found a medium capable of describing the indescribable.
Our mind during an absence seizure.