top of page


A psychedelic musical odyssey through a complex fictional world, as artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward lead audiences on an immersive fulldome cinematic experience in XYZZY.

Produced by

Jess Johnson, Simon Ward, Tūhura Otago Museum, Now or Never Festival

Directed by

Jess Johnson and Simon Ward

Project Description

XYZZY is an immersive, fulldome cinematic experience by artists Jess Johnson & Simon Ward.

Designed for planetariums, XYZZY will lead you on a psychedelic musical odyssey through the complex fictional world the artists have been evolving over a decade-long collaborative practice.
Video director Simon Ward created XYZZY by translating Jess’s hand-drawn compositions into animated webs of flesh mandalas, self-replicating architecture, undulating worms, hallucinogenic pattern, and messianic alien deities. The dynamic visual atmosphere is charged with 90s-inspired electronic synthesiser tracks from musicians Andrew Clarke, Luke Rowell and Stef Animal.

About the Director

Since 2013, Jess Johnson and Simon Ward have been pushing the boundaries of immersive storytelling through their unique collaborations. Johnson's hand-drawn depictions of an alien world, merging technology and flesh, are transformed into captivating video and virtual reality experiences by Ward. Their innovative approach has garnered international acclaim, with their immersive installation, TERMINUS, touring globally since 2018.

Now, their latest project, "XYZZY," takes audiences on a mind-bending journey through a complex fictional world. With animated webs, hallucinatory patterns, and a nostalgic electronic synthesizer soundtrack, "XYZZY" is an immersive delight for the senses. Follow their artistic journey on Instagram: @flesh_doze. 

Screening Details

Project Runtime


Programming Block

Quantum Realities: A Cinematic Exploration of the Surreal

Screening Day & Time

May 05, 3:00 PM

Project Gallery

bottom of page