Four projects across documentary, experiential and narrative genres, all only available with a tethered VR headset, are now on display at Museum of Other Realities, It’s a unique multimedia experience!
The Museum of Other Realities is a paid app that allows you to explore a unique museum that transforms any Virtual Reality headset into a bridge to other worlds. Available for $19.99 on Steam, it is a must have app if you want to discover what a new generation of artists is creating inside Virtual Reality. The museum is a unique experience, a kind of fantastic voyage inside a magic land where you can, through the magic of potions, become taller, shorter or get to your normal height, a bit like Alice did in Wonderland.
There is a reason for this to happen. The visitor changes size to adapt to the dimensions of the different works of art available to explore… because, unlike any other museum, in this one you are invited to go inside the works being exhibited, and even touch things, some of which will change as you touch them. Believe me, the content of this maze-like museum is made, in many cases, to be interacted with.
This note, though, is not about the Museum of Other Realities, to which I will dedicate some more words another day, but to invite you to make a first visit – and hey, it’s free now -, to see the exhibit now available there, Immersive Arcade: The Showcase – Volume One – Realities & Dimensions. The information made available reveals that the MOR “has been working alongside Digital Catapult as the host venue for a chaptered showcase of British XR excellence.” The organizers add that “we are excited to invite you as we announce the opening, and with that, the first volume of a very special showcase…”
A VR experience ONLY for tethered headsets
The exhibit will be available until March 25th, and much to my surprise – and what a good surprise! – this is not an experience only available through Oculus Quest TV, as is many times – unfortunately – the case. In fact, the Immersive Arcade: The Showcase – Volume One – Realities & Dimensions requires a tethered VR headset, including the Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S, Valve Index, HTC Vive or Windows Mixed Reality PCVR headsets.
Oculus Quest users wishing to attend the exhibit will need to connect their headset to a PC using a link cable and enter through Steam VR. A Quest on its own does not have the power to run a project like this. The fact that this project is also not an exclusive for Oculus Quest TV – which has been the case with other venues – sets, I hope, a new trend for the future, in which this kind of exhibits are available across the different types of VR headsets. As this is Volume One of what is probably going to be a series, it’s good news as more people is attracted to VR.
Documentary, multimedia and narratives
Now, having set the stage, lets look at what is included in this Volume One exhibition, which reveals some works that have defined the last decade of British Immersive. This dynamic collection draws together eclectic productions from across documentary, experiential and narrative genres, themed around an exploration of the human mind. Volume One: Realities & Dimensions is, according to the organizers, “the Kaleidoscope of ways in which human beings tell stories.” The showcase features the following experiences:
by Darren Emerson, East City Films
Common Ground is a VR documentary narrative exploring the history, politics and human face of the current crisis in the UK housing system. Through the brutalist concrete blocks of the notorious Aylesbury Estate, the biggest social housing estate in Europe, audiences will enter its world from its construction to its controversial redevelopment today. This multifaceted VR documentary questions notions of community, examines the dis-enfranchisement and demonisation of the working class, and captures the sense of betrayal that residents feel when they are forced to move on.
Imagine you could make yourself invisible. What would you do with this remarkable talent? Could you resist the temptation to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting? If you cannot be seen, how can you be held responsible for anything? Meet the invisible man and choose your path.
by Charlotte Mikkelborg, Novelab
From a multiple award-winning VR team and Oscar-winning special effects team, Fly enables you to become a time-travelling pilot – from the earliest imaginings of Leonardo da Vinci and his ornithopter, to the Wright Brothers’ success on Kitty Hawk Beach and, ultimately, into one potential future of flight.
Notes on Blindness
by ARTE, Atlas V, Archer’s Mark, Novelab
In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, John Hull became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassettes. These original diary recordings create the basis of this interactive non-fictional narrative which is a cognitive and emotional experience of blindness. Storytelling, art direction and graphical universe form a unique and singular immersion, completed by movement tracking, specialized sound and controller interactions.
Notes on Blindness is an immersive virtual reality (VR) project based on John Hull’s sensory and psychological experience of blindness released alongside the feature film.
The Immersive Arcade: The Showcase – Volume One – Realities & Dimensions is hosted in the Museum of Other Realities (MOR) platform, an application downloadable at the links above through Steam and Viveport. Remember that you’ve until March 25th to explore the exhibit, but while you’re there, take a tour around the MOR. I bet you’ll become a fan and will want to buy the “ticket” that allows you to go back multiple times.