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Label: oculus rift

Wednesday 07th October 2015Virtual Reality Art

Ever since the early 1980s when virtual reality technology was initially developed, people have been waiting for it to revolutionize the world, whether it's in the world of computers, art installations, films, or more esoteric applications like data visualizations. Time and again, users have been generally disappointed by the various virtual reality offerings, however, as the technology itself has been unable to keep up with the demands of the users. This may be all about to change with the upcoming commercial release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

The Oculus Rift headset is actually one of the most successful results of the recent crowdfunding phenomenon that has completely shaken up the world of product startups, originally being put forward as a project on the website Kickstarter. It's not quite ready for consumer purchase yet, but the manufacturers are hoping for a release in the first quarter of 2016, with preorders beginning towards the end of this year. Luckily for all of us consumers, developer versions of the headset have been available for quite some time now, which means that interested parties have been able to get a hold of a prerelease version of the equipment in order to begin creating content for all the rest of us, and this includes an impressive number of artists who have been salivating at the chance to start exploring what the technology can do.

We have already discussed the relative merits of the idea of video games as art, but the Oculus Rift completely changes this entire dialog and dumps it on its head. Suddenly the idea of just what a video game really is begins to change, as the (virtual) realities of interactive films force us to re-evaluate our preconceptions.

One artist who is exploring these exciting new virtual realities is Canadian artist Jon Rafman, who has had a recent exhibit at the Zabludowicz Collection in London. The overall exhibit hasn't met with resounding success, but by far the most popular element of the show is his exploration of the Oculus VR headset. The piece is entitled Sculpture Garden (Hedge Maze), and takes the viewers through a bizarre surreal world populated by eerie moments and unexpected fears. We're going to take a closer look at his work in the future with one of our upcoming Artist Spotlight pieces, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. You can also be sure that he won't be the only one working with the Oculus Rift, so expect to start finding more and more of the sleek black headsets in galleries around the world.
 

Posted on October 07th 2015 on 06:32pm
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