Back from a successful mission – The Unreal made real @ Seed!

The outside front of TheUnreal with #vr artist @LachlanSleight & visitors at #burningseed2018 #burningseed #burningman #virtualreality #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

It’s been a couple of weeks now, the dust has settled, and we’ve finally washed the paddock off the camping gear and stored it away for next year.

We made it to Burning Seed – constructed The Unreal and shared our external visuals and the out of body VR experience (as well as some of Lachlan’s other projects on Burn night) with many excited participants – some of whom queued for up to an hour and a half for their turn!

As with many projects, our ideas changed through the course of the build, and what became reality was different in many ways from our early plans. We created incredible external art with more than 3000 LEDs housed in 16 plywood panels, internal  design and our flight suit uniforms adorned with EL wire, the cloud bed with recycled PET fluff which was very well contained and surprisingly non-moopy, and of course the out-of-body VR experience created by Lachlan which involved many, many hours of coding, especially working with new and experimental hardware – both the depth camera features and the heart rate monitor custom hardware and software had their quirks and have been an amazing learning experience which it was just amazing to bring to the paddock.

Thankyou so much to everyone who came through, Artery for the support and fundung, and Burning Seed in general for the wonderful event that allows this crazy stuff to happen. And of course, all our core team members on site (Lachlan, Wintermute, Kudra and Kerning) who all worked tirelessly, as well as support assistants for a couple of nights helping participants through! Sadly Stephanie Andrews was unable to be more involved in the later stages of the project, but her early involvement and creative direction shaped the experience and she was very much missed on the paddock.

We got some fantastic feedback, some great photos and video, and many wonderful conversations were had outside as people moved from cube to cube in the colourful queue. Probably the highest praise was from a fellow  who told us he’d been participating in Burns since 2002, and The Unreal was hands down the single best experience he’d ever had at a Burn. Wow. We told him to please go tell Artery immediately so they felt happy about having given us money 🙂 We are apparently at least one eight year old’s number one pick from Seed this year, which made us all go “awwwwwww”.

Of course pictures tell a thousand words, so we’ve created a gallery which is now linked from the main menu options, as well as here – have a look! Some key pics are linked below, and if you have any you’d like to share with us, please send to info@araefan.org and we’ll put them in the gallery! You can also see our outline report on what was delivered, as well as the VR specs.

Thanks so much for sharing this journey, and if you have come across this site curious about our project and have questions – or maybe would like us to bring The Unreal to an event you’re involved with or create something new in VR or the realm of LED art – we’d love to hear from you!

xxx
ārǣfan

One of our younger visitors to TheUnreal @ #BurningSeed2018 #VR #art #virtualreality #BurningSeed #BurningMan #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA