Temporary Virtual Anguish

One of my most valuable skills is the ability to reflect on the negative events in my life and flip them into positive outcomes. Allow me to take you on a project that involves war, trauma, cyberpunk, therapy, healing, art, augmented reality and community service. Welcome to my world.

By: Vital Boisset

Quick Summary

.01

Introduction and notes.

.02

500lbs SVBIED Blast.

.03

The intergalactic space nightmare.

.04

The exhibit.

.05

AR as a storytelling medium.

01. Introduction and notes.

There exist a huge disconnect between the civilian population in the USA and its military. People have become jaded and desensitized to the sometimes lesser known costs of war. Civilians aren’t learning from Veterans and Veterans aren’t learning from Civilians. What’s the point?

This project is my attempt as US Army Veteran to bridge that disconnect. This is a multi-purpose art project intended as a therapeutic outlet, a story about trauma and overcoming hardship to share what my life is like after combat. And a glimpse into my new battles.

02. 500lbs SVBIED Blast.

While deployed to Southern Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Infantryman, I was wounded by a suicide bomber attack. This began a month long journey created my damaged brain as it was trying to survive. A never-ending cyberpunk nightmare, that would have me question the very fabric of reality.

I

Suicide IED Blast

I

Traumatic Brain Injury

03. The intergalactic space nightmare.

I spent a month in a military hospital in a coma/drug-induced haze, which was in my mind like going on an intergalactic journey, of which I have still have crystal clear and vivid memories. My brain sustained an injury (TBI) and during the the healing and recovery process, it made-up a sort of dream/fantasy land.

The dream melding comprised of movies I’ve seen in the past (The Matrix, The Island), books I’ve read (Crime novels, Edgar Allan Poe works) and real life events (Doctors and nurses interacting with me), But then it gets weird, with Candy Land. I thought this dream was never going to end, but I finally woke up hooked up to a machine and way too many wires sticking out of me.

04. The Exhibit.

I have this vision of a physical representation of my brain. It would be hanging from a warehouse ceiling via fishing line to emulate hovering, with wires, computer cables, and metallic shower hoses all laying on the floor as they connect to it. A visual representation of my neural network.

It would be constructed out of repurposed computer parts, vintage electronics, as well as recyclable trash. Inside the contraption, you will likely find Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos, sensors and RGB LED lights. I’m picturing something similar to a Sentinel from the Matrix.

05. AR as a storytelling medium.

The way one would experience this piece of art would be on an individual level with a smartphone. Using AR technology, people could experience different parts of my dream/journey by pointing their device at the exhibit. The exhibit would allow people to walk around it while using their smartphones to to interact with the art. People will be able to experience the many different images, animations, sounds, and vibration feedback sent from the exhibit to the individual’s smartphone. I would also have the LEDs on the exhibit light up as part of the whole interactive experience.

In a way and within legal and moral guidelines, this interactive experience would allow people to see what my everyday life after war is like. At the same time, this project would allow me to express myself artistically, while also providing a solid portfolio to explore a career in UX/UI.