March 8, 2017 – Written by Kim Sofer Matthias
I don’t want to steal time from you, precious lifetime that is all absorbed by our relentless consumption of immersions like film, music, books, games, Netflix 😉 and now even virtual reality. If you are not into virtual reality at all, if you´re not interested about some kind of a philosophical approach with a real outcome incorporating art, religion and the possibilities of an algorithmic interpretation of existing reality, than it is now time for you to leave this text. You´ll come back anyway in a couple of years, just because you suddenly realized, how important this has become for your people, your children, your friends, your family, actually everybody that likes to “dream with open eyes”, that likes to be immersed into a space built from knowledge and that loves to be curious about new stuff with enhanced senses. The usage of “virtuality” has been established in a very special way the first time actually by the great actor, director, writer and performer Antonin Artaud in 1933 :«Whatever the conflicts that haunt the heads of an epoch, I defy a spectator whose blood will have been traversed by violent scenes, who will have felt in himself the passage of a superior action, who will have seen in extraordinary exploits the extraordinary and essential movements of his thought illuminated as in a flash. . . . I defy him to abandon himself on the outside to ideas of war, of revolt, and of dangerous murders.”
(1932; “Manifesto of the Theatre of Cruelty”)
His idea was the invention of a theatre stage, where nothing is scripted and loose parts of revolutionary ideas infuse the hot air and bring up strange new styles of theatrical performances on to the stage and into the ears, hearts and brains of the audience. The “if” was very important to him and definitely he didn’t want to leave that “if” to be reduced to its tiresome rephrasing rehearsals by directed actors or a system of an absolutely edible “theatre visit”. His system wanted a new and stronger way of addressing the Audience, maybe you can see him as some “forefather” of the later Dogma film style by Lars von Trier. Some years later the war had begun.
The term ‘virtual reality’ actually was used 50 years later by Jaron Lanier in 1987 during a period of intense research activity into this form of technology. But before then, he had set up VPL Research – a company which pioneered research into virtual reality and 3D graphics which also sold the first virtual reality gear such as virtual reality glasses, data gloves and later, the full data suit. Born Jaron Zepel Lanier in New York City, Lanier was raised in Mesilla, New Mexico. Lanier’s mother and father were Jewish; his mother was a concentration camp survivor from Vienna and his father’s family had emigrated from Ukraine to escape the pogroms. When he was nine years old, his mother was killed in a car accident. He lived in tents for an extended period with his father before embarking on a seven-year project to build a geodesic dome home that he helped design. At the age of 13, Lanier convinced New Mexico State University to let him enroll. At NMSU, he took graduate-level courses; he received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study mathematical notation, which led him to learn computer programming. From 1979 to 1980, the NSF-funded project at NMSU focused on “digital graphical simulations for learning”. Lanier also attended art school in New York during this time. (Wikipedia)
Pierre Levy, entitled “Sur les chemins du virtuel” (On the Paths of the Virtual, 1995), whose French text offers the following approach to the question of virtualization:
“What is virtualization? Not the virtual as a manner of being, but virtualization as a dynamic? Virtualization can be defined as the inverse movement of actualization. It consists in a passage from the actual to the virtual, in an ‘‘elevation to potentiality’’ of the entity under consideration. Virtualization is not de realization (the transformation of a reality into a complex of possibilities ), but rather a change of identity, a displacement of the center of ontological gravity of the object being considered: instead of being defined principally by its actuality (as a ‘‘solution’’), the entity henceforth finds its essential consistency in a problematic field. To virtualize an entity is to discover a general question to which it refers, to transform the entity in the direction of this interrogation and to redefine the initial actuality as the response to a particular question. «(Virt1.htm, 3/8)
You can see in this small research that we´re dealing with a long-time major topic that has been ignored and mistreated in many ways, because it was just used as a magic trick, some kind of funfair demonstration with a stereoscopic extra. If you add Trompe-l’œil to your search you get into the real and much deeper history of VR and you´ll see that the search for enlarging human´s visual space is much older than the invention of film, photo or broadcast tv.
But why do I tell you all that?
Actually it is because I´m an artist myself and I like to share my team´s payed work with all of you and get a small revenue for doing so. So what I offer you for now is something revolutionary now, where the so called overhyped vr – marketing is far away from. And I tell you this, simply because I know this as a fact for more than four years of working with it.
Have you ever been to a place, where you always wanted to be? Have you ever wished to go back to that place, but you simply cannot because of all kind of limitations? Yes, I had that feeling myself and I wanted to provide something where those moments can be kept, because places vanish, rooms get closed sometimes and you can’t reach that feeling you had then. You remember playing a great game with your old Nintendo, PC or PS3 console in the years back of your childhood? Yeah, it´s exactly that feeling of strong immersion that we want to keep and to secure for our lifetime, in great memories with strong feelings connected of the “good old days”. You can do that with your good friends, photos, meetings, all kind of other references to a “could be” or “if” stimulation like music, tastes and smells. But the surrounding ambient at that specific time was and still is the “real thing” behind all of that. So we come to something larger, to something that rules us on a very subconscious level: Peace, prosperity and a good life.
The first room in western mankind’s first spiritual immersion, the first church in the world of the Christianity was and still is the “Last Supper Room”, a very special and public place in Israel on the Mount Zion, where all the three Abrahamic religions are linked under one roof. In these present times, where religions seem to bare all kind of misinterpreted dividing reasons for the global humanity we strongly need of being reminded on that most important reason of life, being a dependable human being and trying to move forward the way we are all meant to live in peace and happiness. This room means a lot for me already just because it is filled with myths, hopes, prayers, tears and so much love that you barely can handle it, if you haven´t been there. But you can do that right now. You can stroll through that hall and learn about it if you own a cardboard, a controller and a smartphone with a gyroscope and a accelerometer. Don´t worry, if your Samsung is from last year or even three years ago, it’s all in the box. The data works on more than 14.000 units and is 60 MB of its size. It contains sound, speech and flawless performance with a great framerate.So download the app and ” walk ” through our rebuilt, we made that happen and me and my team are so honored and happy to deliver a guided and/or free to explore room-simulation to you.
You can download it here : The Last SupperVR