Reality is fragile. Put on a VR headset and you’ll immediately feel how easily your brain can be fooled.
What’s real, what isn’t? For children with absence epilepsy, this is daily reality...

What is real and what is not?
In My Absence let's you enter the experience of children with absence epilepsy, and bring you up and close with the physical sensations lose of being absent

In this roomscale VR installation three voices will guide you through their seizures. You will not only hear their story, but briefly enter their reality.  It starts out almost documentary-like, but quickly escalates into a sensory dreamlike experience where the viewer, much like the children, loses control and enters a world that cannot be described by words. By matching the stories with pure experience, we create a language to describe absence seizures millions of youngsters suffer from.

Children with absences suffer from seizures in which they are 'gone' for a few seconds, sometimes multiple times a day. The scientific paradigm is: there’s no consciousness in seizures. If You Are Not There, Where Are You? has challenged that by adding the artists point of view. We asked ourselves the question: Where are they, when they are not there? By co creating with experience experts, we found words and visuals and created a new narrative for absences and started to change this paradigm.

Through the intense sensory and embodied experiences VR can offer, we found a medium capable of describing the indescribable;

our mind during an Absence seizure.

In collaboration with:
This project is part of the bigger transmedia project
If You Are Not There, Where Are You? in which artists and scientists work together to find language for inner experiences through
film, interviews, VR and art.

Maartje Nevejan
Cerutti Film
Luuk Meijsen
Marieke Nooren

Voice Acting by:
English version
Xavier Janse
Samya Hafsaoui
Norman Vladimir Smith
Bonnie Williams

Dutch version
Jarl Lambers
Abel Jansma
Caro Jacobs
Maartje Nevejan