The Holodeck


Benjamin Davies, Kelly Hayes and Jon Mackereth


24th April – 8th May 2015



The Holodeck is a collaborative exhibition between Benjamin Davies, Kelly Hayes and Jon Mackereth. The work examines and explores the possibilities of alternative models of reality’s and dimensions. Presented through photography and video game technology Holodeck aims to question and challenge the ambiguity that lies in the gap between the real and fictional, the definite and apparent, the present and future. The use of digital technology forces the realities to exist outside of the physical and material world, existing somewhere between this reality and a fictional one.


‘Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.’

Phillip K. Dick


In the hideous complexity of real life, model’s can be used to cut through the noise. To model something is to make a simplified, stylised version of some aspect of reality, helping to see and understand a thing more clearly. An architect may use a model of a structure to plan how light falls on it, or a videogame may simulate the act of driving a car, without the restrictions of the Highway Code. Through Semi-abstract models, one can simulate alternative realities, or the ‘what if ‘ that is either obscured or has not materialised in the real world.


A model is created for us every time one reads a book, watches the news or listens to the radio. All media only ever offer a point of view, a version of reality that we accept to the detriment of others. Always lacking a full overview, we are perhaps alone in our private models of how the world works. A good model opens up a space in which ones private self can inhabit, bearing ones own cultural and physiological tendencies. To be overwhelmed by an experience is to be immersed, with the term immersion deriving from the sensation of being submerged in water. To be immersed in a model is to have your whole sensory apparatus taken over by a believable built world, one in which you use your knowledge of the real world to fill in the blanks, reinforcing the authenticity of the experience. ‘We have truth mimicking fiction and fiction mimicking truth…’ as Philip K. Dick said.


Immersion, when induced properly, should not be mere escapist entertainment. When one leaves the confines of a built world, one should see the actual world in a new light. The model of a utopian city may cause a rethink of what’s missing from ones own environment, or a war video game may entice you to reconsider the plight of the common soldier, to name examples. Immersion in a space can also be pleasurable in its self, a space in which you can explore and scrutinise. Video games particularly offer a unique quality in this respect, the sensation of moving through a virtual world with a corresponding action in the physical world via the controller. In all built worlds there is the possibilities of endless re-visitation, allowing for location-less worlds that can help us re-orientate ourselves in our one, shared, exit-less world.