RTRN 2 NATURE is a 360° video art installation, by collaborative group, “y2k.gif” (comprised of @y2kangel and @ellen.gif) which explores concepts of the Kantian notion of the sublime and the Anthropocene. The viewer passes through the Australian bush and comes across static figures that are wearing checkerboard print zentai suits from head to toe, which represents the removed section of an image found when using Photoshop.
The mathematical sublime, as proposed by Kant, addresses the way we recognise sublimity when confronted with objects of sheer magnitude. The sublime, however, is purely aesthetic and cannot be discussed in terms of taste. This is because a judgement of the sublime relates merely to our way of thinking, rather than the object that is being judged. The conclusion then for Kant is seemingly this: fine art cannot induce the sublime.
Through omnidirectional video the traditional photographic frame has been expanded. By immersing the spectator in a multidimensional environment, direction and control is stripped from the artist. Thus, the potential of virtual reality to create encompassing environments creates new possibilities for the mathematically sublime. The vastness of the dense Australian bush places you in a space where you are confronted with the extraordinary quantity of the landscape. This allows for judgements of the sublime and taste to merge in a way that Kant did not think possible.
In RTRN 2 NATURE, the relationship between man and nature is lifeless and thus removed. The soundtrack, the walls and the plants are wholly artificial and the “magical garden” scent in the space is manufactured by Air Wick. The chaos of the Australian bush is removed; it is prepackaged and designed for one’s consumption.