With technologies including multiperson virtual reality, facial recognition, and stereoscopic 360 video, we thought some of Lucid Realities’ visitors might want to better understand what it is they’re experiencing as they make their way through the exhibition. To accompany its works, we offer you this Lucid Realities glossary as an accessible point of reference, if desired, to support your personal dialogue with the exhibition.
1- Virtual Reality
Two little words that mean so much! While the term’s subtext invites discussion and philosophizing, in the context of Lucid Realities, virtual reality can be simply defined: An experience that takes over your real reality (in this exhibition, by dominating your senses of sound and vision via an experience provided through a headset) in such a way that this experience becomes your perceived reality throughout the piece. Usually, during this time period, you feel as if you're within the experience; not on the outside looking in, but in it, living it, part of it. Some of the exhibition’s VR works also incorporate other technologies listed below. In some works, you can interact with other visitors; in others, the narrative responds to your choices, feelings, or facial expressions. (More on that later.)
Works include: Blind Vaysha, Broken Night, Dear Angelica, Home: Immersive Spacewalk Experience, Through You, Transference™, Tree
2- Multiperson virtual reality
Some of the exhibition’s virtual reality experiences are equipped to receive multiple visitors at the same time. What's uniquely inspiring about multiperson VR is that you can share the experience with other people, and together, explore and play within the virtual world in which you're all immersed. Whether the experience positions you as a character (for example, in Flock, you are a bird) or as yourself, you can sometimes exchange, interact, or vibe with other visitors who also are assuming their roles.
Works include: Flock, Life of Us
3- Mixed reality
Just as it sounds, mixed reality mixes real reality and virtual reality into a “mixed reality” that is part real, part virtual, and where the real and unreal meet. Therefore, depending on the experience, your real reality may now contain a few digital elements, such as objects or characters. (For example, in Fragments, characters are holograms who, according to the work’s creators, seem to really be in your space as they interact with you.) While Lucid Realities' works don't incorporate the technology known as augmented reality, for your reference, it is another style of bringing virtual bits into your real reality.
Works include: Fragments
4- Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is a broad term with cultural connotations straight out of sci-fi fantasies and/ or the far-off future! In the present, your iPhone’s Siri could be considered a form of artificial intelligence. Yet in the context of this exhibition, its meaning is more specific, and relates to the examples of machine learning and facial recognition software. (Both of which are part of the work RIOT (prototype)).
Works include: Fragments, RIOT (prototype)
5- Machine learning
Our in-house expert explains that machine-learning really comes down to statistics. By analyzing statistics, data, and equations over and over and over again, the more on point and accurate machines like computers can become.
Works include: RIOT (prototype)
6- Facial recognition
Within Lucid Realities’ experiences, facial recognition software can, among other things, enable the work to seem to understand your feelings by "reading" your face. What it sees can then cue changes in the narrative, so the story and its characters are affected by your feelings, as is the case in RIOT (prototype).
Works include: RIOT (prototype)
7- Stereoscopic 360 video
Both stereoscopic and monoscopic 360 video (these are the two present-day available kinds of 360 video) are full circle, 360 degrees. To the visitor’s eyes (and heart), stereoscopic 360 video has more depth of field, which can help create and deepen your immersive VR feeling.
Works include:Home: Immersive Spacewalk Experience, Life of Us, Transference™
8- 3D sound design
Lucid Realities’ works engage other senses, including your hearing, often through 3D sound design. In life, our ears deliver information, tidbits, and clues about our surroundings. When you hear a sound, music, words, or noise, you can usually tell where it’s coming from in a space; up or down, side to side, or anywhere and everywhere in between. In 3D sound design, sounds can come from anywhere, and not just from left and right, just as they do in your real reality experience.
Works include: Home: Immersive Spacewalk Experience, RIOT (prototype), Tree
9- Immersive and/or interactive installation
If these (art-related) concepts sound familiar, that might be because they’re not exclusively used to describe digital artworks. Immersive suggests that you're immersed in the work, you feel as if you're part of it. Interactive means you can interact with the work; perhaps you can affect its narrative, characters, or plot, whether by pressing buttons, moving your physical body, speaking, feeling, facial expressions, or other methods. Certainly, artistic works, including installations, can be at once immersive and interactive. Many installations do possess both of these qualities.
Works include: The Island of the Colorblind
The immersive exhibition Lucid Realities will remain on view through December 16.