Reality's Fugue - Virtual Realty Meets Art & Philosphy

January 20 - February 10, 2024

New Hope Arts presents an inaugural look into virtual reality and augmented reality - transforming the VR and AR experience out of the realm of gaming into a creative tool for social awareness.

In collaboration with Northeastern University Professor, David Tames; F. Samuel Brainard, author; area artists and Bucks County Community College technical interns, Reality's Fugue, is a participatory experience of the creation story, combining art and philosophy to illustrate our shared world.

The gallery installation showcases the history of this technology along with the process of the show's production as well as an opportunity to put on a headset and step into Reality's Fugue.

Reality's Fugue: Genesis

Reality's Fugue: Genesis is a collaboration between F. Samuel Brainard and David Tamés. The work will be exhibited at the New Hope Arts Center in New Hope, Pennsylvania, from January 20 through February 10, 2024. Opening reception on Saturday, January 20, 2024, from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. with an artist’s talk at 5:00 P.M. 


Brainard, in his book Reality’s Fugue: Reconciling Worldviews in Science, Religions, and Philosophy, asserts that a puzzle lies at the center of everything we’re aware of. It hides the true nature of ourselves and the fundamental nature of the universe we live in.

This approach challenges the exclusionist notion that only one worldview can be correct. It presents an alternative mode of understanding using Douglas Hofstadter’s metaphor of a musical fugue. Different “voices” and “melodies” of worldviews coexist in counterpoint and conversation. At the same time, each perspective remains distinct; none is privileged. 

Reality’s Fugue: Genesis immerses participants in a virtual world that provides a new take on the Genesis origin story to illustrate how we create a shared world, and we hope it catalyzes conversation.


Produced and Directed by F. Samuel Brainard and David Tamés

Contributing Artists: Aurelle Sprout, Carol Cruickshanks, Stacie Speer Scott, Susanne Davis

Developer: Patrick Nugent

3D Artists: Katerina Pak and Patrick Nugent

Composer:  Linda Erickson

Narration: Jenny Paschall

Technical Consultants: Danger Donaghey, Oscar Keyes, Matt Seibert

Special Thanks: New Hope Arts Center, Stanley Timek, Bucks County Community College, Jeffrey Jacobson, Carol Parker, Susan Bindig, Elizabeth A. Stier, Ryan Murray,  Celia Pearce, Jonny Ouk, Immersive Media Lab (College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern University)


It is commonplace to believe that who we are—our true nature—is anchored in our individuality and our uniqueness. Reality’s Fugue, the book, and the virtual reality experience argue that our true nature is not so easily explained. A puzzle lies at the heart of everything we know; we are not just individuals, we are both individuals and collective beings, both one and many at the same time.

REALITY’S FUGUE - GENESIS is a story about this puzzle.


“A puzzle within a puzzle;
The gateway to the ultimate mysteries.”

— Tao te Ching, chapter 1


Reality's Fugue Sneak Peak