Collider is a VR installation.
The text below is an excerpt from the review by Tony Muzzo.
The Collider is an installation by Anagram, created by Amy Rose, May Abdalla and developed by Clarice Hilton and Mike Golembewski. It has been conceived to make two people interact together for a total time of 40 minutes. It is better if you perform the experience with a stranger (later, I will explain you why).
When I asked May Abdalla about the sense of the project, so why they created it, she told me that the purpose was to make two people interact together and so investigate the relationships between people, but also to investigate the relationship of every person with “power”. It is interesting to notice that here “power” is not used in the classical sense of political/economic/social power, but in the one of the power of one person of changing the mood, or even the personality of another person. The Collider is about how the people we meet change our life by exerting influence on us. What is the effect of this influence on us? Is it something that we like? Is it something that we need? Do we like that someone changes our life or that someone decides how our life will be? And how is our relationship with this kind of “power”? These are the questions that the Collider wants to foster into people. Regarding the answers, well, you will have to find them inside yourself.
The experience works this way: the booth is a closed cube and there are two doors for the participants. One person will enter the left door and the other one the right one. The two users will make a parallel journey and then will actually truly meet only at the end. I was selected to enter the left door, because it was the one leading to the VR headset (and I had to review this VR experience, so it was a forced choice). The other nice Chinese girl doing the experiment with me entered the right one (that didn’t imply the use of VR).
When talking with me, May also talked about the fact that she wanted to create an experience where you could use all your body in VR, but without sensors to have your body in VR. So, she’s not interested into Kinects or Vive Trackers, but in using other cues to make you feel completely in VR, without making the system more technically complicated. While I was the cavy of this experiment, I had to use:
My feet to move and to “feel” the sand;
My bare hands to follow the controllers;
My body to dance;
My voice to sing (in a terrible way, actually);
Furthermore, I have been touched on various parts of the body (not in that sense, you pervert! :D). Even if I couldn’t see my body in VR, I have felt and used it completely. All without suits and sensors. This is very powerful… and apart from increasing the sense of immersion in the “virtual world”, it also serves in increasing the deepness of the “hypnotic status”.
This is why I say that the Collider will never be on a VR store: it is an experience where the VR headset is just a little part of it, and there is almost no software. It requires the physical interaction between two people that don’t know each other and this is very hard to recreate outside of an event.
Photo credit: Tony Muzzo