PORE: a communal VR art installation

On June 2nd & 3rd of 2018 I was in Berlin, showing people onto an exercise mat & placing them in a VR art experience.

I was invited to make a VR art piece for the JSConf EU Community Lounge. Sage Jenson created the sound (background music) & photogrammetry (concrete tube surrounding the participant & a scan of the exercise mat that participants were standing on in the venue). I created the webVR installation using A-Frame, as well as a realtime database to allow people not in VR to view the experience being built live as particpants interacted with the piece (this was a convenient side-effect of streaming gaze data to a database for later processing).

The experience itself consisted of viewers looking at a sequence of neck stretches (slower than shown below), prompted to follow these neck stretches & ruminate on the taxing physical nature of VR. The hope was that we could create an experience in VR—a medium usually associated with escapism, and in fact total erasure of your body, a kind of digital blindfold—that actual caused you to become more aware of your body, not less.

As they'd look around partipants would draw a line 10 meters away from their head, in the direction of their gaze. In the actual experience this line was colorerd with a blue-to-yellow depth based shader.

The gaze data, collected from ~40 particpants over the two days of the conference, was collected & visualized as a single path using Three.js. The final version is still viewable on the installation website. You can see artifacts from the prompts:

Some day I may 3D print or visualize this data more, but it's interesting enough for now to have a collective physical sculpture created communally by participants in the installation.

An initial prototype of the path tracing