Mirrored Dwellers

Mirrored Dwellers is an artistic exploration into embodying virtual identities and its impact on user experience  by Anneleen Swillen (contemporary jewellery), Guus Vandeweerd (graphic design, XR-design), Ine Vanoeveren (XR-performance), Senneke Van de Wygaert (contemporary jewellery), and Esther Verstreken (graphic design).

Design by Guus Vandeweerd

Mirrored Dwellers is a performative project that aims to explore virtual identity within the context of Extended Reality (XR). For this project, we experiment with digital adornment, embodiment, personification, user experience and intra-active (Barad) phygital impressions. A selection of Ornamutations has been translated by Guus Vandeweerd into different avatars and a virtual world. During the performance, Ine Vanoeveren embodies an avatars and plays the flute in VR, all the while looking at her own reflection in this virtual world. Through Ine’s viewpoint, an experimental poem co-authored with ChatGPT, and scientific allusions, the audience engages. Their presence and diverse perspectives are pivotal in questioning virtual identity, as well as active ‘vs’ passive spectatorship in XR. Wearing the avatar(s),  entails embracing notions of otherness, plurality, and interconnectedness, while touching upon intricate entanglements of more-than-human actors, technologies, practices and environments. 

Design by Guus Vandeweerd

Meet the team

Anneleen Swillen is a postdoc researcher and tutor at PXL-MAD School of Arts and Hasselt University (Belgium). She explores jewellery phenomena in a phygital age through an expanded practice that involves research in the arts, education, curation, and writing. In 2020, she founded Artificial Intelligems together with composer and data engineer Greg Scheirlinckx. This fluid collective, currently working on the intersection of jewellery, graphic design, music, XR-performance, dance, and data science connects people, artistic practices, and technologies to explore more-than-human co-creation.

Guus Vandeweerd recently completed his master’s degree in graphic design at PXL-MAD School of Arts. During his studies, he focused his research on the topic of digital identity, particularly avatars. He delved into exploring the complexities and implications of how we represent ourselves in the digital realm. In addition to his academic endeavors, Guus Vandeweerd broadened his knowledge and skills through an internship at Artificial Intelligems. He actively participated in collaborative projects with the collective of Artificial Intelligems and other talented individuals. Currently, Guus continues his research in the realm of digital identity at PXL-MAD School of Arts, working closely with Dr. Prof. Ine Vanoeveren. Together, they aim to further delve into the topic of digital identity and its impact on our lives.

Ine Vanoeveren is the Lead Innovation & Technology of Europe’s pioneering event venue, the Corda Arena at Corda Campus, Hasselt, Belgium. With a capacity to host up to 4,000 attendees onsite and millions virtually, this cutting-edge facility merges technology seamlessly with human interaction.
Her interests specifically lie in cross-reality interactions within live events, combining physical performers with holographic and virtual performers for both a live and virtual audience.

Trained as a contemporary flute player and XR-researcher, Ine obtained her doctoral degree at the University of California, San Diego. She performed at numerous contemporary music festivals worldwide and won several international awards and prizes. In addition to performing, Ine is a professor in contemporary music performance at the Royal Conservatory of Liège, Belgium.

Breaking the fifth wall: on creating a sense of wonder with(in) mixed realities through XR performance, creative AI, and embodying virtual identities. An encounter in VRChat: Anneleen Swillen and Guus Vandeweerd in conversation with Ine Vanoeveren. 

Swillen, A.; Vandeweerd, G.; Vanoeveren, I.
International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 1–17.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14794713.2024.2348985