A VIRTUAL REALITY NIGHT WALK
Home, is a VR interactive experience that takes the viewer on a mysterious night walk around the border of an Israeli village. The landscape is digitally fabricated, based on the village I grew up in, and draws on memories from my teens. In a fallow field sprinkled with communication towers, shrubs, small wild animals, and old ruins, the mixture of technology, nature, and vernacular culture was strongly marked. My mind constantly computed the space around me, using the scarce data provided by the dim moonlight. I used VR to construct and to dissolve the space we embody, and to highlight the diverse elements in the fabrication of space: biological, cognitive, social, imaginative and digital.
The project was presented at the Israeli Pavilion at the 2016 Festival de Cannes, as well as the International Film Festival in Haifa, Anination in Jerusalem and DocAviv, Tel Aviv / Yeruham.
Sound design: Yinon Kuperstein.
Special Thanks: Yinon Kuperstein | Sagie Pudinsky | Shiri Blumenthal | Micaela Terk | Almog Melamed | Idan Amati | Shachar Kantor | Wendy Geri | Tal Haring | Adi Lavy | Shirin Anlen (Asset Attribution: "Campfire," https://goo.gl/8XByuj by David Stenfors licensed under CC BY 4.0)
Understanding The Landscape
Home , in a way, is a continuation of a series of photographic excursions and paintings (digital and traditional) that spans for about 13 years. The series traces the unique features that characterizes the Israeli marginal landscape. It shows the dry flora, the agriculture but also the historical ruins, the infrastructure and the modernistic structures. Some of the less recognizable buildings remain mysterious and do not communicate their story or function to the occasional wanderer.
The project began at the Steamer Salon VR lab, Tel Aviv. During the 11 day lab, with the help of mentors and lectures introducing the participants with features and challenges of VR technology, I had to consolidate the concept and create a working prototype of the experience. In the last three days of hackathon, I teamed up with sound designer Yinon Kuperstein, 3D artist Shiri Blumenthal and programmer Almog Melamed, and together we created a gear VR version, with a small patch of land and the general look and feel.
Designing The World
This demanded a variety of approaches and tools. Realizing the concept and designing the terrain demanded an intriguing combination of field work, design and theory and involved architecture, game and sound design, programming, image processing, and animation and a great deal of collaboration and coordination.
This was done with great help from friends, and especially with the help of Yinon Kuperstein and Sagie Pudinsky.