An immersive virtual reality installation that seeks to embody the spirit of the new Jerusalem as described in the Book of Revelation.
The narrative of the Book of Revelation is not just one of apocalyptic destruction; it is also a journey of salvation and unveiling. The Book's positive culmination is expressed in the creation of a heavenly city – referred to as New Jerusalem – that arises from the remains of the old world.
A New Jerusalem is an immersive virtual reality installation that seeks to embody the spirit of this prophesised city. The artwork manifests as a beautiful and illuminated metropolis that is based upon Revelation’s architectural descriptions, and can be experienced through two distinct perspectives as witnessed and related by the Book's narrator, John the Seer.
Unlike other pictorial visualisations of this biblical prophecy that have been created throughout history, the underlying structure of A New Jerusalem is generated solely from the text of Revelation itself that has been translated into a data code form and rendered in four-dimensional virtual space (XYZ plus time). However, the imagined cityscape is also constructed using current Google Maps data of present day Jerusalem, thus offering the possibility that – in the words of theologian Professor Edward Adams – "the new creation is not a wholly unrecognisable place, even if the new Jerusalem is like no city the world has ever seen". Within this context, the artwork asks viewers to contemplate why we should care about our present society and environment if promises of "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 21.1) await us.
Prof. Edward Adams [ academic 'reading' and context ]
Drew Baker [ Unity3D programming ]
Prof. Ben Quash [ academic project lead ] . Alfredo Cramerotti [ curatorial project lead ]
A New Jerusalem v1.0 was produced in 2014 as part of De/coding the Apocalypse – a solo exhibition exploring contemporary creative visions inspired by and based on the Book of Revelation; presented by the Cultural Institute at King’s College London in partnership with contemporary art centre MOSTYN and the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at King’s. The artwork's research phase (2012-13) was funded by the Leverhulme Trust's artist-in-residence programme.
[ gallery ] Modular installation using: two high-specification computer systems capable of real-time high definition 3D rendering (Unity3D); Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and single-channel high definition video projection system; and 2.1 audio system (Flash).
[ online ] Mac or Windows computer system with Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari; the Unity3D webplayer and Adobe Flash plugins; and stereo audio. A high-specification CPU/GPU, colour display with ≥1080p resolution and high-speed Internet connection are recommended.