Virtual / Mixed reality

Virtual reality is an immersive technologically stimulated environment which allows viewers to feel fully engrossed in a certain environment alternatively to the one they are originally placed in.  Multiple video games have incorporated virtual reality into their programs such as being placed in a driver’s seat. Writer Matthew Schnipper argues “A definition of virtual reality has always been difficult to formulate – the concept of an alternative existence has been pawed for centuries…  but the technology wasn’t yet good enough”.[1] Fortunately today, the vastly progressive technology has allowed us to formulate multiple virtual reality headsets such as; HTC vive, Oculus Rift, and Sony Playstation VR. Writer Joel Stien describes the virtual reality experience as “The screen, when it’s that close to your face, fills your field of vision–the first frame-less visual medium. The sense of depth is far more realistic than 3-D, with everything stretching out to infinity, scaled perfectly.”[2] From these drastic advances in machinery, we are left to question what will occur when these influences of virtual reality take hold of our present lives. At this current time, the use of VR is predominantly incorporated into gaming software, though many artists have found interest in depicting what everyday life will appear as, considering VR’s drastic integration. Illustrator Jim Stotten in ‘Untitled’ depicts life in the future where Virtual Reality holds reign in daily technology use such as an Iphone in today’s time. Although the work doesn’t specifically involve the use of Virtual Reality, it cleverly depicts a time where the drastic integration of the program is seen as the social norm. The artist writes “Some will be talking to hologramatic projections of business colleagues or family members on their telephone — eye projectors. Some will be playing huge interactive video games on screens the size of buildings, with large VR hands. Some will be watching TV shows as they walk along.”1 Another artist who incorporates a virtual reality in their work includes Rachel Rossin. ‘Lossy’ (2015) involves a Oculus Rift headset in order to have an immersive experience into her paintings. Mixed reality on the other hand, is described as merging both the real and virtual world to produce a new setting. Mixed reality is explained as “An overlay of synthetic content on the real world that is anchored to and interacts with the real world—picture surgeons overlaying virtual ultrasound images on their patient while performing an operation, for example.”[3] Mixed reality involves the incorporation of real and virtual worlds to portray a new setting where “physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time”4. The popular Iphone game ‘Pokémon Go’ involves aspects of mixed reality as the gamer is walking through a ‘real environment’ such as a city street, yet the app has involved a virtual world which the individual must also walk through incorporating mixed reality.

 

Image result for Jim Stoten virtual reality

Jim Stoten ‘Untitled’

 

Image result for Rachel Rossin. ‘Lossy’ (2015)

Rachel Rossin ‘Lossy’ (2015)

 

Image result for pokemon go

 

[1] Schnipper, M. The rise and fall and rise of virtual reality. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/a/virtual-reality/intro

[2] Stein, J. (2015, August 6). Why virtual reality is about to change the world. Retrieved from http://time.com/3987022/why-virtual-reality-is-about-to-change-the-world/

[3] Unknown. VR/AR/MR, what’s the difference? Retrieved from https://www.thefoundry.co.uk/solutions/virtual-reality/vr-ar-mr-sorry-im-confused/

[4] Radar, A. (2014, September 5). What is…robotic art? Art Radar explains. Retrieved from http://artradarjournal.com/2014/09/05/what-is-robotic-art-art-radar-explains/

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