Acclaimed Experience LoVR Artfully Explores The Science Of Love
The VR experience LoVR, which premieres this week on Wevr’s Transport, delivers a highly inventive merging of art and science. Yet far from being some dispassionate intellectual exercise, the result is a beautiful and emotionally evocative work detailing the human process of falling in love.
“It’s basically a visualization of neuron chemistry,” explains director Aaron Bradbury. “The piece is four minutes long and over those four minutes it’s describing four seconds of a guy falling in love with a girl. We see all the information traveling through his brain over those four seconds stretched out. And alongside the science you get this kind of poem of conscious thoughts. “
Bradbury is an artist and animator who, since 2007, has been working for England’s National Space Center creating immersive films for planetariums. As a result, his own personal creative endeavors have moved in that direction as well. In 2012, Bradbury created a short abstract work for the 360’ dome before eventually setting his sights on virtual reality with LoVR, which he describes as both a conceptual art piece and a narrative story.
“I was making this piece to be a dome film,” he explains. “And then as soon as the DK1 (Oculus Rift) came out I thought, I need to make this a full 360’ VR piece. The transition was pretty easy with the story I was telling. If I was doing a different piece it might have been more complicated.”
LoVR merges of fascinating text with vibrant animation for something akin to a visual poem inspired by sound and experience. The initial idea first came to Bradbury while listening to a piece of music called “Vessel” by electronica composer Jon Hopkins. The song now serves as mood enhancing soundtrack for the experience.
“Like a lot of people, when I hear a piece of music I’m taken to a visual place where I find a story within the music. And I get that even more when music doesn’t have any words to it. When it doesn’t give you a story, you start to construct your own narrative around the sound.”
The story Bradbury constructed comes from his own memories of falling in love with his wife. “There’s a moment in the piece that says “Spinning in infinity” and the camera is literally spinning around and you see those words on one of the data panels,” he says. “That was taken from a text message I sent my wife the day after I had met her. The experience really turned into me trying to recall those very few seconds and how powerful they are.”
Since touring with Kaleidoscope VR’s North American Tour, LoVR has become a popular fixture on the VR festival circuit including the South By Southwest Festival, where Vice’s Creators Project, a platform featuring the works of visionary artists using technology to push the boundaries of creative expression, wrote of the experience, “It’s true that we can do this with a film, but there’s something more to it with VR. By being completely surrounded by these visuals, viewers can even understand and relate to the overwhelming rush of stimulation, something akin to what falling in love feels like.”