The Oculist Reason

Virtual Reality,Video, 2015

︎ Image Gallery

The Oculist Reason is a 360° documentary project for VR headsets and 360° displays. The project focuses on a dome-shaped mural on the former Union Building at 24 Hardman Street, Liverpool, a building that previously housed the Royal School for the Blind. The painting was completed in 1986, at a time when Liverpool was embroiled in a struggle against the policies of the Thatcher government, and features different ideological and political events and personalities associated with the movement, including the 18th-century poet and abolitionist Edward Rushton, the Women’s Technology Initiative and the People’s March for Jobs. In 2015, the paint was in poor condition and was removed by the building’s new owners, hoteliers who had restored the adjacent building as a luxury hotel. The building has since been reoccupied, a change that will breathe new life into it and stimulate the economy and job market in a city still recovering from its wounds. But what will happen to the traces of the battle that once took place within its walls?

The film investigates the transfer of political and physical space to the virtual realm. It seeks to make a digital duplicate of the painting and the space that houses it, but also invites voices from its past to speak about the events and characters presented in the mural, to give the images a voice.