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Virtual Reality Now Offers Death-Like Experience

March 29, 2023| By Kali Girl

According to the New York Post, Australian artist, Shaun Gladwell, is giving a new experience to the journey of death with his participatory virtual reality simulator. His exhibition, “Passing Electrical Storms,” at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, uses “medical technologies” to bring forth the experience of dying.

“At once meditative and unsettling, this interactive work guides participants through a simulated de-escalation of life, from cardiac arrest to brain death,” reads the exhibit’s outline on the gallery site.

In an interview with the Australian, Gladwell described the experience as “moving away from yourself and then floating off into the giant universe.”

“By simulating death as an experience in its last few minutes, it’s a meditation on the ephemerality of individual life,” Gladwell told the outlet. “For me, it’s not all gloomy but a spectrum of colors and moods.”

When you get to the exhibit, enthusiasts are instructed to lay down on a fake hospital bed and are connected to heart rate monitors. If the experience becomes too overwhelming, visitors are able leave at a moment’s notice. Additionally, the exhibit is staffed with individuals who are trained to assist and “pull you out of it,” according to the outlet’s report.

On TikTok, one user named Marcus even showed off the exhibit to their followers stating, “What happens is, you’re laying down, the bed vibrates, you flatline, the doctors come over the top of you, you can see yourself in the goggles, and they try to revive you.”

“It doesn’t work, then you float up past some, into space, and yeah, it keeps going, but I won’t spoil it all,” Marcus continued.

“It does make you contemplate what happens after death, it also gives you a sense of the scale of both universes within and outside of our bodies,” he wrote. “If anything, it makes you marvel at the possibility of life in the first place.”

Gladwell is not new to creating exhibits of this kind. In 2017, he created a virtual reality experience called “Orbital Vanitas”, which took users into a real-life human skull.

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