Use An Oculus Rift To Explore This Ai Weiwei-Inspired Metaverse
When the Oculus Rift was released earlier this year, it was as if the gates of a new, digital Eden had suddenly been unlocked. Game designers, sociologists, pornographers, and musicians alike took to the new technology with zeal and creative ingenuity. The result was a concept of virtual reality as multi-faceted and capable of surprise as our actual reality. Well, almost.
VR software has also been popular among contemporary artists lately, such as Moritz Reichartz, whose newest work “Mashup Between the Clouds” is a dizzying, sun-drenched dreamscape that gives Miyazaki’s fantastical worlds a run for their money. Precariously balanced and temporally suspended, the wooden crates and chairs that populate Reichartz’s world are reminiscent of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s Bang, an installation comprising of 866 antique wooden stools clustered together in midair.
While not an explicit homage to Weiwei’s sculptures, “Mashup Between the Clouds” evokes the same kind of unsettling wonderment created by augmenting and distorting the realities of everyday objects. And the effect is even more intense in this case; when wearing a VR headset, you’re completely visually submerged into the world created by the artist. Plus, you can get as close to the art as you damn well please, which is always good. Still can’t touch it though.
Ai Weiwei has dabbled in VR himself, though not in quite the same way. His exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, “Ai Weiwei 360,” opened this January, and was simultaneously made available for anyone to experience online or through a headset. It’s no alternate universe, and you can’t defy gravity, but who knows? Maybe this is just the first phase of Weiwei’s relationship with the medium—we’d love to see what an immersive, completely original reality of his would look like.
But until then, you can download Reichartz’s “Mashup Between The Clouds” for your VR headset here, and check out more of his art on his website.
Images via the Creators Project and Designboom.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on the strange world of virtual reality.