While the idea of virtual reality has had a rather niche appeal for quite some time, it's really only in the last few years that the science behind, and the applications for, VR are gaining mass appeal. Increased availability of devices such as the Oculus Rift is offering immersive, 360° multimedia movies that take us to places we've never seen and make us feel like we're actually there.
Right now, Montreal's Phi Centre is showcasing the incredible capabilities of virtual reality in its new installation: The Virtual Reality Garden, on until March 31. Bringing together four of the most outstanding VR works of our time, world-renowned artists are pushing the limits of art and technology, to create cutting-edge visual experiences that offer unique points of views regarding important socio-political issues happening around the world today.
Nomads: Maasai showcases the Maasai’s formidable living heritage in the village of Enkutoto, including coming-of-age jumping dance competitions, and the men’s unmatched hunting abilities over the repeated walkabouts they led alongside the zebras, giraffes, lions and hyenas of the stunning Great Rift Valley.
Waves of Grace follows Decontee Davis, a survivor who cares for orphaned children in her Ebola-torn village in Liberia, as communities try to heal after the largest outbreak in history.
Clouds Over Sidra was commissioned by the United Nations, and shows twelve-year-old Sidra as she goes about her day, leading the user around the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, home to 84,000 Syrian refugees.
Inside Impact: East Africa with President Bill Clinton takes you on a journey to East Africa in spring 2015, witnessing the progress accomplished by local communities thanks to the commitment of members from the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
Technology has come a long way, especially in the last decade. So much so, most of us would be pretty much lost without it. For better or worse, we now interact with the world around us primarily through a digital lens, and we are on the cusp of experiencing true virtual reality like never before.
Admission to the Virtual Garden is free and runs until the end of the year at the Phi Centre.