Deep Connection is the result of several disciplines brought together. The work was co-authored by Assistant Professor Marilène Oliver, Assistant Professor Kumar Punithakumar, Professor Pierre Boulanger, Professor Richard Thompson, Dr. Chris Hanstock, Peter Seres, Preet Giri, and Madhavi Nimalaratne, with sound by Gary James Joynes. To create the piece, the team started by acquiring a full-body 3D MR scan dataset of Marilène's body and 4D MR scan dataset of her heart and lungs. The data was processed and concatenated using Matlab and 3D Slicer, and finally built in Unity. With Deep Connection, the primary aim was to create a VR experience with a whole and complete digitized body that could be explored and empathetically ‘connected’ to. Furthermore, having spent many days at her mother's bedside in the hospital during production, Marilène's experience of being the companion for a loved one at such a vulnerable and emotional time inspired her to create an experience where an embodied human becomes the companion for a virtual body. Ultimately, she hopes Deep Connection invites viewers to reflect upon our relationship with technology, in particular AI and robotics.

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Durk van der Meer
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