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 absences. A form of epilepsy where you are 'gone' for a few seconds. But people that suffer from it will tell you they’re not gone at all. Instead, they report entering their ‘inner world’. A experience that can be as fascinating as it can be frightening or confusing.

In this roomscale VR installation three voices will guide you through their personal seizures. You will hear their story and briefly enter the reality they enter when they're 'gone'. By matching real stories with VR 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