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Visual Arts

Birdly Presents Paradise Lost in the Shanghai Biennale


Date: May 18-June 1, 2021
Venue: VIP entrance, Power Station of Art, Shanghai
RSVP on site
Supporter: Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council; Swissnex in China

Birdly dives deep into the waters of the ocean as a sea-turtle with their new full-body XV diving simulator, “Paradise Lost”. This underwater experience helps raise awareness of the importance of ocean conservation by interactively showing the destruction of wild-life under the sea. In “Paradise Lost”, two wise turtles take us on a poetic journey through stunning coral reefs. Users may experience first-hand how climate change and pollution impact the now-threatened underwater ecosystem. 

The two-week experience presented by Birdly will be part of Phase III of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, enhancing the Bodies of Water theme. This edition themed Bodies of Water, a metaphor for fluidity within an aqueous environment that envelops both human and non-human existences, as well as a liquid space in which research, knowledge and technology inextricably interconnected and interdependent. This Biennale is engaging with the history and geography of Shanghai, a long-standing arena for liquid territorial bodies, to advocate for the momentous contribution that art plays in the reconstruction of a world shaped by environmental, social and political distress, to explore solidarity beyond the anthropocentric conceptions.

Sharing the same vision of this Biennale, Birdly’s unique underwater experience provides the extraordinary opportunity to learn about the vegetation and wildlife that are underexplored and often forgotten. Most of all, it reveals the coral reefs’ impact on balancing a complex ecosystem and how they are currently bleaching out due to climate change and man-made pollution.

“Paradise Lost” is the winner of the Dreamland XR Award for Best Animated Educational Project and two Halo Awards. “Paradise Lost” was developed in collaboration with Swiss Television (SRG SSR) with support from Pro Helvetia and Migros Kulturprozent.

About SOMNIACS/Birdly

SOMNIACS is built on this foundation of developing immersive experiences and unlocking emotions. A spinoff from the Zurich University of the Arts, our origins are in understanding how these things can transform the way people understand and interact with the world. Through the Birdly platform, we’re building an ecosystem of experiences that enhance, extend, and reinvent what it means to be a tourist. We help people travel with their mind and experience the world, without limitations, as never before.

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