Adrienne Mathueszik

Interstellar Alternatives

This immersive 3D environment addresses themes of colonialism, exploitation and consumption by examining a possible future of space travel and tourism. Interstellar Illusions leverages science fiction and fantasy aesthetics within a navigate-able speculative narrative. Viewers are invited to explore a fictional and abandoned extraplanetary luxury resort. It is unclear as to why the resort has been vacated, but what’s left behind offers an eerie glimpse of what the future of space travel and tourism could be.

Start: 01/02/2023

End: 31/05/2023

Interstellar Alternatives is a VR film and installation that expands on the narrative world of my current body of work which speculates on possible futures through the lens of (post-)colonialism, tourism and identity to create interactive experiences through VR and experimental game spaces. This body of work has been building from an abstracted narrative and for this project will be made concrete to give context to the world in which my recent works exist. In my work, I use science fiction as metaphor and methodology to explore my own experiences of (mis-)identification as a mixed-race Jamaican and settler-Canadian woman, as well as investigate the entanglements between colonialism and tourism, in the past, present and potential futures. As a person of mixed-Caribbean descent, I am interested in speculative narratives because of the often presumed correlation between mixed-race identities and the future. My work takes a critical approach to human activity in space, and as more popular culture turns towards space — conversations about UFOs and aliens are no longer just conspiratorial theories, and space tourism is becoming more of a real possibility (for the superrich) — my work encourages critical engagement to counter the romanticised visions of a future in space. Given the state of Earth’s thorough domination, what assurances are there that we humans can do better as stewards elsewhere? Interstellar Alternatives is a VR film conceptualised within an installation where the participants perform as their future selves as they watch an informative video before making a choice for their future. The narrative world in which previous works exist has so far included the story of an interstellar scout set in the distant future (Ambiguous Origins, 2019), and an extraplanetary luxury resort set in a nearer future (Proxima-B, 2021). This project is set sometime in between, where humanity has come to terms with the ecological crises on earth and have two potential solutions for the population. The film will have a narrator to talk the participant through the options both logistically and ethically. The participant will enter the installation and be presented with two options, long-distance space travel to another planet to start anew, or hibernation where humanity will temporarily move to a geological time scale and wait millenia for the earth to repair itself without human intervention for better or worse.

Artist Bio:

Adrienne Matheuszik is a mixed Jamaican & settler-canadian interdisciplinary artist in Toronto. Adrienne has had unsupervised access to the internet since she was nine years old. She uses computers to make art — video, physical computing, creative coding & 3D design — which usually result in interactive installations, augmented and virtual reality, short film and video. Adrienne’s work explores ideas of representation & identity online and IRL.
She is interested in speculative futures and using sci-fi to examine the possibility of the post-colonial. Adrienne has an MFA from OCAD University from the Interdisciplinary Masters of Art Media and Design Graduate program (2019), and a BFA from University of Ottawa with a specialisation in New Media Art (2014).