VIRTUAL REALITY (VR): A NEW WAVE OF IMMERSIVE ART AND STORYTELLING
If Christmas 2016 was any indication, Virtual Reality (VR) is where personalized entertainment is headed and if the “Back to the Future” films are any indication we have only a few more technological advances before we are all as fly as Marty (I don’t expect everyone to get that poorly executed joke).
With various companies creating affordable VR headsets and companies like Facebook and Sony throwing their hats into the mix, the possibilities are endless.
One thing intriguing to me more than the rise in popularity and inevitable normalization of VR, is how it is expected to change the world of arts and storytelling in how artists present their works.
By incorporating VR technology into our already existing smartphones, we can transport ourselves into new worlds and experiences just by connecting our smartphones to the inexpensive headsets without any hassle.
The hype of how VR could affect Art is in the idea of an immersive experience. It’s one thing to go to a party and experience an amazing DJ spinning awesome sounds for you while you get down to his huge LED screen and flashing lights displaying all kinds of neat effects behind him or her, but it’s an entirely different experience to go to a party, place on a VR headset and be able to interact in the world the DJ creates for you through their music. The lights, sounds and cool effects are not just on a screen anymore. You are instantly transported right in the middle of an amazing psychedelic experience like none other, all created by the DJ in the booth. How’s that for a party?
See: DJing VR With Grimecraft + The Wave VR
Have you ever had that one concert by your favorite musician that you couldn’t just get to because you couldn’t afford it at the time or perhaps your small town just wasn’t on the tour listing?
Well those days of not being able to go along with friends and miss out on epic shows are soon to be behind us.
Imagine being in the comforts of your own home and being instantly transported to the front row to see your favorite artist performing right in front of your eyes!
This sounds too good to be true but recently, in a partnership with Microsoft, music artist ‘Childish Gambino’ shared content with his fans from his exclusive ‘Pharos’ concert event through VR technology. There are only so many words I can use to describe such a mesmerizing experience. It’s one you will have to check out yourself to really begin to understand the possibilities of how this old but revised VR technology can do for how we enjoy arts and entertainment.
See: Childish Gambino – PHAROS VR “Me and Your Mama”
Finally, another amazing example of how artists will be able to immerse audiences into whole new worlds is shown in a spectacular video featuring former Disney sketch artist Glen Keane, who takes his expertise from working on films such as the Little Mermaid and transfers his drawing skills from the paper into thin air. With the help of a VR headset and an amazing and cool app he works his magic. What was limited by the confines of corners on paper is no more as Keane sketches out his ideas in life-sized limitless plains.
See: Glen Keane – Step into the Page
Much like any new technology on the rise, there will be many downsides along the way. However, I am so caught up in the moment of thinking of how much my imagination can be stimulated I haven’t stopped to even focus on what those things could be. For now, I am looking forward to the days where a trip the museum turns from reading about the giant dinosaurs and being in awe of the amazing fossils, to throwing on a VR headset and being able to walk amongst the dinosaurs and watch them as they were in their natural habitats.
Or imagine being able to go and see a movie and having a more than 3D experience. All of those things seem farfetched now, but I guarantee you we are not far off. Between me and you – I can’t wait!