We all know that writing about music is like dancing about architecture, but what about dancing about virtual reality (VR)? (and no a dancer wearing a headset and the audience seeing what she/he is seeing on a flat screen is not dancing about VR).
That is one of the questions that I am trying to answer with this artist’s residency. How does VR can affect us in a deeper level? Will our physical body become an avatar for our virtual-selves? What will VR evolve to? How will our culture react to? This all assumes that VR is here to stay!
VR is still a very young medium with lots of discoveries in its future and already suffers from many failed attempts in all aspects. from horrible experiences to pretty bad ways to present how a person in VR feels…
That is why I always found the PSVR ads more successful than the others as they show the human face as opposed to a piece of large plastic:
In very simple terms, I find proper VR magical: The fact that I can create some virtual curio and hold it, interact with it after putting on the headset (and the cables, and the hand controls) is very powerful. On the other hand, I remember my first ever VR experience, couple seconds was all I could stay in the roller-coaster demo. The cart even did not make it to the top; but now, here I am, trying to uncover what we can do with VR that we can not do with other mediums.
And how dance plays into that, hopefully not like this (this is the current case):
Without going into too much details, here are some thoughts:
- Separating the spectacle from the experience: VR is still new, there is wow factor and there is the spectacle. For most people, the tech itself is the aim rather than the experience (both perceived and/or intended).
- Going past the initial shallow/superficial space: What is there once the shiny feeling goes away, what can we create after that.
- Thinking about VR not as a derivative of the physical but rather an alternative, somewhere different, never explored
- Creating many things knowing that most initial ones will fail. Experimenting. Understanding rather than trying to force existing ideas to the medium.
In this very vague light, I am thinking about creating a performance that investigates VR and probably asks more questions than it answers: creating small interactions, pulls and pushes, conflicts, intentional bad experiences and magical moments. And it is very interesting but also easy to get lost or lose track.