• life
  • is
  • beautiful
  • you
  • are
  • lovely
Justin Time
Galerie Weisser Elefant, Berlin ’19
Paquetes Exhibition, Atlanta ’19
ARTnSHELTER, Tokyo ’19
Made With
Christian Duka (Vocal Recording)
Art Direction
Unreal Engine VR Programming
Sound Design
3D Modeling

A Poetic VR Experience on Quantum Time


Justin Time is a poetic virtual reality installation personifying the concept of time. Based on research in quantum field theories and their implication on the human experience, it allows a transport to a multiplicity of realities and questions the underpinnings of existence as an identified self.


How can we contextualize our quantum existence in a relatable way? If we are existing in the past, present, and future at the same moment, what new questions would we have for time? How would it feel to embody time itself?


The installation is realized through poetry and virtual reality. Upon the walls of the gallery, poetry is painted as letters to (Justin) time, inquiring about its mysteries and indulging it with imaginative possibilities. Within virtual reality, a participant embodies Justin, and is given the ability to travel between different time-spaces and freely and openly explore the environments within, absorbing the content as both the human they are and the embodied form they have acquired.

While a participant is in the virtual reality experience, other viewers of the piece are invited to recite the texts on the walls aloud. This is designed to amplify the quantum existence of the realities in the room and the headset, provide additional context to the non-linear narrative, and create a group-unifying experience for all attendees, even those who may not wish to enter the virtual reality portion of the piece.


The research for this project began in 2017 with the work of Andy Clark and Sun Ra (and specifically the concept of active externalism) being a driving force towards understanding the notion of existing, embodiment, and new perspectives on genetics. That research informed a future work entitled Memories 0.02, and after hearing a moving presentation from CERN’s James Beacham at IAM Weekend 2019, a deeper focus on the quantumness of time emerged, and a desire to create a human-relatable character of this kind of time was born.

With this new focus on quantum time, an important reference point for the project was Carlo Rivelli’s “The Order of Time”. This book takes a look at the history of theory on time, and then starts to look at quantum gravity and its relationship with time and electromagnetic fields. It was set to repeat on audiobook for two months during the development of the project, with interruptions for further research on quantum computing, quantum fields, loop theory, and human time travel.

Throughout the research process, notes were kept with the intention of sharing them somehow within the piece. Around a week before the exhibition’s opening, the notebook containing these notes decided to remain on a regional train in Germany, and has not been replaced. Reverting back to the core references for the piece, conversations with friends about the new theories that were being born from this research, and impactful memories from the initial research, the texts were recompiled into what now paints the walls, and something that is felt to be an improvement from the original writings.


Beyond the writings, the piece was developed from scratch using Unreal Engine 4 as the platform for delivering the VR experience. Assets were sculpted in VR using Oculus Medium and Google Tiltbrush, and additional models were created in Daz3D and within UE4 itself. All 3D materials used in the experience were custom designed within UE4 to craft the aesthetics of the different time-spaces with accuracy. The sound was composed using an OP-1 synthesizer, text-to-speech software, field recordings, microphone, and Ableton’s granular synthesis algorithms, and then used as assets within UE4’s spatial audio engine.

All of these processes were managed and executed by the artist. The vocal recordings were recorded and edited by Christian Duka in London, UK, before being remixed and engineered for the VR environment.

Next Project
Tender Rhythms