Supplying people with the latest virtual reality technology enables us to engage with thought leaders in various fields. Ranging from Architects, Fund Raisers, Developers, and in this case Artists.
We have been working with José for a number of months supplying equipment to showcase his piece; Virtual Awakening (Death is Only the Beginning) at a number of exhibitions and festivals across London. We wanted to dig a bit deeper and ask what future VR has in the world of artistic impression.
For those that may have not experienced Virtual Awakening for themselves, could you tell us what this piece is about and what drove you to create it?
Sure, Virtual Awakening is an emerging platform that combines thought-provoking art with futuristic technology providing immersive, therapeutic, mind-expanding experiences that ultimately empowers people to expand their boundaries, unleash their true potential and lead them to and enlightened perception of life.
Our first Virtual Reality experience is called “Death is Only the Beginning” which is based on a conceptual representation of a Near Death Experience (NDE). Through 360º photography it takes the viewer through various stages of a NDE, subjecting the viewer to visions of an afterlife realm, and a confronting life review of key global issues facing us today.
What inspired you to use VR as a platform for your artwork?
I think what inspired me the most for Virtual Reality was the possibility to break the two-dimensional barrier of my work by using this technology as an empathy machine that enables an emotional transformation within the viewer. This deeper connection with the experience can potentially plant seeds of awakenings in the human mind, that ultimately helps to expand the perception of themselves and the reality we live in.
Is VR to be your main discipline from now on?
VR has expanded my artistic expression to places I could never have imagined. As much as I am dedicating a lot of energy and time to the development of Virtual Awakening and the creation of more content for this medium, I still like to see VR as one more tool to the unfolding of my artistic expression.
Are there many other artists using VR to tell their stories? if so who?
It has been a fascinating journey to be part of a medium that will transform how we absorb and experience information in any field, and as we seen for the last couple years more VR artists are on the rise as this technology expands. I believe the role of the artists in VR are the ones who are going to express and expand VR to its true potential. For example James Edwards at Psych-fy lab who are exploring VR as a portal into an immersive cyberdelic parallel universes inspired by mavens of psychology, psychedelia, sci-fi, technology and pop culture narratives. To add on, the work of Matteø Zamagni and Sander Boss who are also pushing VR in a truly visionary way by working with transcendental concepts and cutting edge technology.
What would you like to achieve with VR tech that's not currently possible?
At the moment the VR industry is pushing the limits with how far you can take VR in regards to technology innovation. When it comes to the potential of VR experiences, I would personally like to achieve a movement that can make VR a primary alternative way to digitalize human medicine by working within the individual's mind as a way to self-healing.
The evolutionary goal of VR seems to be to make VR as indistinguishable from reality itself. Which, in an already unbalanced and morally unjust world could become a potential for further inadequacy. So to promote companies and artists that aim at providing content for the benefit of mankind rather than the distraction of mankind is futile. The future is in our hands, or rather in our minds. It is how we consciously decide to use technology that will become our civilizations' destiny.
Check out José's work via his website and keep an eye on his Facebook page for future events. Cheers José!