Nebula is an artificially intelligent (AI) interactive computer graphic installation that investigates the emergence of an interactive aesthetics of landscapes made possible through the integration of new imaging processes combining remote sensing and immersive technology. It comprises a range of on-going site specific iterations. In the light of the current re-conceptualisations of human induced climate change, attention has been drawn to the inadequacy of representing a landscape as a distinct and separate backdrop to human activity. Through experimental application of a remote sensing visualisation system it demonstrates how landscape narratives can be jointly produced by users and intelligent imaging systems through their reciprocal interaction in the representation of atmospheric data. In its explanation of the interactive processes underlying this new genre of contemporary image formation, the study transforms our insight into how revolutionary new technology can impact on the understanding of terrestrial processes. Using a particle-generation graphics engine, Nebula allows the audience to evocatively interact with the subatomic processes of these landscapes, by interactively assembling clusters of mutating AI particles into a range of topographies and vistas. While immersed in these vertiginous terrains, we hear a voice challenging us to explore these unknowns, while the voice struggles against an unknown which threatens its sense of identity. As we attempt to herd the independently minded particles into recognisable landscapes, the undulating interactive imaging suggests how we and the landscape are fundamentally co-dependent.

Project DirectorsDennis Del Favero, with Stephen Sewell, Elwira Skowronska, Peter Weibel
ARC Investigators: Dennis Del Favero, Jill Bennett, Neil Brown, Jeffrey Shaw, Peter Weibel, Ursula Frohne, Johnny Chan
Programmer: Alex Ong
Project Funding: ARC DP120102243
3D stereoscopic single channel artificially intelligent computer graphic installation, monochrome, 15 minutes in duration, and 4K single channel video

  • Nebula V, Viscera, Cavallerriza Reale, Turin, Italy, 2023
  • Nebula IV, SIGGRAPH Asia, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, 2019
  • Nebula IV, SIGGRAPH Asia, Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan, 2018
  • Nebula IV, Art Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2018
  • Nebula IV, Visibility Matrix, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin & Void Gallery, Derry, both Ireland, 2018
  • Nebula IV, Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany, 2018
  • Nebula IV, Le Printemps de Septembre, La Fondation Espace Écureuil, Toulouse, France, 2018
  • Nebula III, Art of Immersion: Virtual Frontiers, ZKM Media Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2017
  • Nebula III, Aphasia – Düsseldorf & Cologne Open, Galerie Brigitte Schenk, Cologne, Germany, 2017
  • Nebula II, Sydney Film Festival, Sydney, 2016
  • Nebula II, International Symposium of Electronic Art, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, 2016
  • Nebula II, Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany, 2016
  • Nebula II, Group Exhibition 2016, Kronenberg Wright Artists Projects, Sydney, 2016
  • Nebula II, Galerie Marion Scharmann & Laskowski, Cologne, Germany, 2016
  • Nebula I, GLOBALE, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2015
  • Nebula I, Libidinal Circuits, FACT, Liverpool, UK, 2015
  • Nebula I, Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, 2015
  • Nebula I, Tactical Imagery, SCA Galleries, Sydney, 2015
  • Nebula I, Kronenberg Wright Artists Projects, Sydney, 2014

Artistic Directors: Dennis Del Favero with Stephen Sewell, Elwira Titan and Peter Weibel
Australian Research Council Investigators: Dennis Del Favero, Jill Bennett, Neil Brown, Jeffrey Shaw, Peter Weibel, Ursula Frohne, Johnny Chan

Nebula created for the AVIE platform conceived by Jeffrey Shaw and developed with iCinema Centre researchers led by Dennis Del Favero

Programmers: Som Guan, Volker Kuchelmeister, Rob Lawther, Alex Ong
Audio Engineers: Reuben Chapman, Som Guan, Rob Lawther, Alex Ong
Composer: Kate Moore
Voice-Over: Sacha Horler
Project Manager: Jessica Dawkins

Supported by UNSW Art & Design UNSW Engineering

An experimental project supported under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Grant scheme

Presented courtesy of William Wright Artists Projects and Galerie Brigitte Schenk Cologne

Go inside art at iCinema’s 360-degree 3D cinematic theatre at UNSW from 8–18 June 2011.

Two interactive experimental films will have their world premiere at the Festival: Deluge, dealing with the devastating cyclone Yasi (QLD 2011), and Nebula, a dream work exploring relationships between the human and natural worlds; created by Dennis Del Favero, celebrated Australian playwright Stephen Sewell and others; the same team that presented the sell-out Scenario for the 2011 Sydney Film Festival.

‘The experimental works Deluge and Nebula explore our increasingly uncertain relationship with the natural world. They do so using a world leading 360-degree 3D cinematic platform that immerses the viewer inside a dynamic visual space that interacts with the viewer, utilising cutting edge developments in computer graphics and artificial intelligence.

While in Deluge the central character attempts to come to terms with what it means to live in a post-cyclonic world where she has lost everything she loves, in Nebula the central character finds herself caught up in a dream world where nature is at once a threat and yet also a paradoxical refuge.’ – Dennis Del Favero.