Virtual + Augmented Reality
THE SIZE OF A VIRUS
The Size of a Virus was one of the three winners of the Cannes XR incubation programme; a one month scheme to ‘foster the development of innovative entertainment projects that propose new forms of audience engagement with emerging technologies’.
The Size of a Virus is conceived as both a podcast and a VR experience. It shrinks the audience down to the microscopic level, to experience stories at a tier of life that we rarely think about and perhaps need to understand better than we currently do. At the heart of the experience is the thought that viewing the world at a different scale gives perspective and insight.
The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between writers, artists and microbiologists.
The image here was created by Dr David Goodsell, Associate Professor at the Scripps Research Institute, Rutgers University, New Jersey, well-known for his scientifically accurate watercolours of cells. The illustration was animated by Nate Kresse of BigSwift, Milwaukee.
RIPPLES OF KINDNESS
This intimate, communal VR experience accompanied a play called The Boy With Two Hearts (based on a book of the same name, by Hamed Amiri) which ran at The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff in autumn 2021. It then had it’s English premiere at Encounters Film Festival in Bristol in October ‘22. I was both Writer and Producer.
You are invited to join the family, to take a seat on a cushion in the circle, and to hear how they fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban and start a new life in Cardiff.
The story was adapted from Hamed Amiri’s book based on the real story of his family and unfolds as memories are shared by the Amiri family around the ‘sofra’, or mealtime carpet.
Created in collaboration with brothers Hessam and Hamed Amiri, Ripples of Kindness invites small groups to share in the positive impact that their brother Hussein had on everyone around him.
Click on the image to see the trailer.
VIRTUAL LOVE ISLANDS
This room scale, interactive experience is aimed at teenagers and twenty-somethings.
It explores themes of love, intimacy, body image, vulnerability, consent and objectification in the media.
It takes as a starting point, the idea that we see mediated bodies every day, but rarely get the chance to experience the honesty of ‘real’ bodies that haven’t been polished and photoshopped.
We are also subjected to a story about love and attraction that helps to sell beauty products, screen time and plastic surgery but doesn’t help humans connect.
Using Leap Motion technology and life size scans created using Brekel Kinect 3D scanners, Virtual Loves Islands invites you to experience the naked truth of real people in love.
All couples involved hold the rights to their nude scans in perpetuity.
What if rhinos, lemurs and sea turtles only existed as museum exhibits?
Set in the year 2500, Sanctuary imagines a future in which the natural world as we know it has been lost.
A handful of digital fragments showing creatures from before ‘The Fall’ have been found and are being exhibited to a select group of citizens via resurrected augmented reality technology.
But why now?
And why you?
Part interactive theatre piece and part XR experience, Sanctuary asks participants to consider what life might be like, after we have lost a significant number of Earth’s species.
Created in collaboration with Josh Pawlowski
Using 6DOF 360 video, binaural sound and haptics, this immersive installation encourages contemplation on the themes of home, survival, modernity, loss and acceptance. It is an attempt to recreate the pace of life on a remote Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland 100 years ago.
The experience is an island itself – a lull found in the midst of the city. It tells the story of a community that no longer exists; a people forced to abandon their home and way of life.
The length of the experience is dictated by the participant, which means it may last for 2 minutes or 2 hours. If you enjoy a particular location, you may decide to stay and listen to the waves and watch lichen settle on the old schoolhouse walls.
Whether you are on a dark sea under the stars, or in a field of wildflowers and sunshine, you remain in the fishing boat that carries you safely between chapters. The oars are your ‘ruby slippers’; three strokes move the narrative on.
The history of the island, the weather, the bird colonies, the old practises of fishing, crofting, fowling and cutting peat, are introduced through narration, archive recordings, folk songs and sound design.
Row your little boat back a hundred years to a beach covered in sea birds where no one can take a selfie.
It’s closer than you think.
JAMES AND THE GIANT APPLE
Set in Millennium Square, Bristol (the gateway to the cider-drinking south-west) on Apple Day, this augmented reality documentary uses photogrammetry and plays with scale, to create the illusion that you are stepping inside a humungous version of the quintessential British fruit.
As you enter the enormous apple, the magic of geo-location triggers James’ voice, which regales you with fascinating tales and interesting facts about apples.
Did you know that Britain has more varieties of apple than anywhere else in the world?
The average apple contains double the amount of sugar it did 50 years ago, while levels of iron, magnesium and other minerals have plummeted.
The story of the apple is the story of modern food, which is the story of the supermarket’s preference for regularity, reliability, shelf-life, cheapness, speed, sweetness and size. Though this path has taken us away from depth, diversity and integrity, there is a revival in apple detectives who track down knobbly old heritage varieties and remind us to sing their praises again.