eNews Archive > Spring 2014
Sky Factory eNews - Spring 2014

Untouched Nature:
The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me…
…I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of the wild things…

                                                                -Wendell Berry

Maine waterfall

Sky Factory artists are often asked why they seek out 'wild nature' imagery, seldom relying on iconic panoramic views from America's National Parks to create the company's unique biophilic illusions of nature™. Though famous images make for recognizable topography, this troupe of keen observers does not seek to tap the popular culture of natural environments as much as rediscover the primordial in nature. Sky Factory artists aspire to enliven our innate affinity for life and every living system - that intimate connection among living organisms known as biophilia.

In the fragments taken from Wendell Berry's famous poem we hint at that environmental Elysium. The transformative power of nature to heal and restore the human spirit is strongest when the depiction of the natural environment remains untrammeled. The essence of Sky Factory's artistic ethos is to observe undisturbed nature at its zenith—wild, uncontrolled, undaunted—where its expression has not been subject to manipulation or impacted by human activity. Therein lies the peace of wild things; nature's sanctuary restores to our psyche and physiology a deep-felt peace.

"The opportunity to capture something extraordinarily subtle is the greatest in areas of undisturbed nature," says Sky Factory artist Mark Novak. "Searching for a balanced ecosystem with a diversity of species, undamaged or diminished by human interaction, often allows us to witness the most spectacular events of Nature."

Donner & Blitzen River, SE Oregon

Nature's ability to heal has been recognized since antiquity but only in the last 30 years, as civilization has isolated major populations from the natural environment, has science begun to rediscovery nature's power to restore our health and well-being. A central element to its therapeutic prowess lies in our ability as observers to see more deeply, reflect longer, and take in those qualities of natural habitats that speak to our ancestral relationship with nature.

Although our contemporary urban lifestyles include access to parks and gardens, we now interact with nature in a controlled and affected manner. The power of nature to heal lies in its uncontrolled, unchecked magnificence. A fair amount of commercially available nature imagery has lost its ability to inspire because advertising and publicity campaigns have interjected their own messages and appeals, thereby diluting the original significance and symbolism of those natural environments.

On a more practical level, popular nature destinations are rife with trails and roads, vehicles of every stripe, all of which make it difficult to capture footage of wildlife in their natural environment as well as record natural ambient sounds over long periods of time. Sky Factory artists must often seek out the road less traveled to record hours of uninterrupted footage without risking a commercial jetliner or an all terrain vehicle inadvertently passing nearby.

"Shooting for our digital cinema virtual window eScape™, it is essential to be aware of the potential noises our recording device could pick up," adds Novak, "which might be undetected at the time, but yet audible to a microphone. It takes rigorous scouting, extensive planning and knowing your gear to film a worthwhile scene, but the reward is greater when we capture that precious moment."

When observers connect with an unchartered view to nature for the first time, particularly one that was chosen to be evocative by trained artists, the mind is naturally enraptured. The brain instinctively seeks out all the details and the rhapsody of color and undulating shapes carries away our hurts and anxieties so easily, healing the spirit that recognizes in nature the grandeur of all living systems of which we are but the most fortunate witness. Sky Factory artists seek to capture the peace of wild things to restore, recharge and reawaken the natural bond in our own spirit.

NEW! 55" eScape™ — Biophilic Immersion Just Got Bigger

55" eScape shown in a retail environment

The new 55" eScape™ can now bring the dynamic beauty of nature—real-time moving images and sound—to enhance and deepen biophilic engagement in larger interior environments. Utilizing the most advanced RED Digital Cinema™ camera to capture hours of UltraHD proprietary nature footage so realistic, the new 55" virtual window provides the most engaging biophilic illusion of nature available, transforming enclosed interiors into beautiful, healthier and restorative environments.

The larger dimensions of the 55" eScape™ creates a dynamic focal element in any interior space that deepens biophilic engagement and amplifies the feeling of openness, lending any enclosed environment a remarkable sense of 'open space'. This high-tech illusion features a wall-mounted commercial-grade LED LCD screen embedded in a full-size casement window.

Sky Factory's digital cinema virtual window eScapeā„¢ is a unique interior design feature designed to create a beneficial biophilic illusion. Biophilic illusions are representations of nature so realistic that they trigger the same relaxation response people experience outdoors, in nature. Psycho physiological benefits include stress and fatigue mitigation, relaxation and restored emotional balance, increased mental clarity and wellbeing, improved productivity and cognitive function, etc.

Unique Features of the Sky Factory eScape™

  • Each window includes 8 hours of captivating nature footage
  • Individual nature scenes typically run over 60 minutes to engage viewers
  • Unedited footage of pristine, wild nature
  • Proprietary vertically-composed footage cannot be found anywhere else
  • High-definition LED LCD screens and components designed to withstand 24/7 operation for many years
  • Stylish trim options and recessed casing designed to be perceived as a window rather than a TV hung on the wall
  • Parallel nature ambient sounds enhance multisensory experience

Applications

  • Retail - store-within-a-store, boutiques, upscale departments
  • Hospitality - hotel lobbies, restaurants, spas, casinos
  • Commercial - corporate offices, trading rooms, call centers
  • Institutional - deep plan buildings, schools, labs, public spaces
  • Residential - enclosed bedrooms, living rooms, basements

Notable Installation - COSEM, Paris, France

Circular Luminous SkyCeiling at COSEM in Paris, France

Founded in 1945, COSEM is a multidisciplinary medical center located in the 9th district of Paris. COSEM uses the latest technology across a wide offering of medical services and their 375 professional practitioners schedule 800,000 appointments annually. This COSEM facility has been completely renovated and the project manager opted to add dramatic virtual skylights across the windowless waiting room.

The high Luminous SkyCeilings draw the eye upward, lending the space a visual openness that invites patients and visitors to relax. Sky Factory's biophilic illusions of nature deepen biophilic engagement, triggering an automatic relaxation response that calms the physiology and enlivens our innate connection to nature.

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