Shiva's Dreaming is a virtual world exploring the creation and destruction of simulated architecture. Players roam around a digital replica of The Crystal Palace at Sydenham on the night of 30 November 1936, just as the building is slowly being consumed by fire. As players explore the smoke-filled scene, their movements trigger explosions that transform the crystalline architecture into cascades of glass shards, falling apart in slow motion - only to regenerate itself afterwards.
By utilising the typical perceptual skills of a computer gamer into project oneself into a game's landscape and interact with its rules, Shiva's Dreaming positions the viewer at a precarious threshold between real and simulated physical encounters with architecture and its materials. With reference in his title to the third Hindu god Shiva, whose role it is to destroy the universe in order to re-create it, the work sets in motion a series of infinite cycles.
The project is part of Bonus Levels, a series of utopian virtual worlds: bonuslevels.net
Shiva's Dreaming was commissioned by STO Werkstatt for the Re:presence exhibition in May 2014.