Exploring care through VR
Researchers at the University of Brighton have contributed to a new virtual reality art project that addresses current public debates around care.
Care(less), produced by British artist Lindsay Seers, will be exhibited at Fabrica, Brighton, from 5 October to 24 November before heading to Lincoln and Birmingham.
The artwork has been developed with input from the University of Brighton, University of Birmingham and University of Lincoln. These institutions are part of the OPCARE Commissioning Partnership, along with Fabrica, the Ikon in Birmingham and Lincoln’s Frequency Festival.
Funded by Wellcome Trust, Care(less) responds to new research that looks at the experiences of older people receiving care which they pay for themselves.
The art piece, along with an accompanying programme of talks, discussions and activities, seeks to explore the value and meaning of care in human relationships.
Seers will collaborate with the university research teams to expand the public conversation about care, opening up a space to “explore the universal human dilemmas that we may all face but do not want to think about until they happen”.
Lizzie Ward, Principal Researcher at the University of Brighton’s School of Applied Social Science, said: “Public debate on care is typically limited by policy concerns about the economic costs of an ageing population and the anticipated impact on health and social care resources.
“It is also underpinned by an intrinsic fear and distancing from ageing inherent in our contemporary culture and the idea that independence and autonomy are to be valued above all else.
“We are pleased to be commissioning Lindsay Seers to look at these ideas through her practice and that Fabrica will premiere her newly commissioned work in 2020.”
The OPCARE commission will provide the focus for a public programme of education and participation activities, inviting viewers to reflect and draw on their own experiences about care. The goal of this programme is for it to be participative and for it to build relationships between the partnership researchers and arts organisations.
Liz Whitehead, Director of Fabrica, said: “This commission builds upon a series of three previous artist commissions that sought to undermine death as a taboo subject. Lindsay Seers’ new work engages with the fear of ageing, and prejudice against the natural order of entropy, that our culture engenders.”