The body question


What a beautiful title – it sounds like the title of an extremely relevant and powerful and intelligent thesis in philosophy at least.

It impresses myself. Sometimes, I… well, sorry.
Going back down to my heights, which are lower, my subject of the day is much more pragmatic.

It’s already been several times that I’ve launched, like the dizzy kid I am, the hypothesis of Virtual Reality where my spectator acts physically. With his body.
It’s quite concrete.

In 2014 the Marriott Hotel in London offered the 4D experience – i.e. in a place that will deceive all your other senses: there will be the wind, the burning sun, the sweet smells of paradise and so on.

Wonderful – but you were stuck.

In order to progress in the field of VR, the engineers had to get the spectator moving – that’s better. On the other hand, it is neither simple nor obvious.
The number one problem is that you’re “blind” to the real world when you’re under that damn helmet.
So acting physically is fine, but how?
For now there are a few options from video games: you have your controller, more or less modern and streamlined – but it’s a controller – one for each hand, and that’s it.

I say that, but in fact – it’s already huge.

Take a good look at people’s reactions when they’re on the board: their feet feel the real board – and their eyes see the fake void. And that’s enough – they’ve gone into the middle of a nightmare/ dream, depending on whether they’re afraid of heights.

That’s not bad enough, is it? People are impressed, just look at how they position their feet.

I’m even more interested in the experiments here – because the real body is embedded in virtual reality – and in particular the bodies of others: and there it becomes good for almost everything I want :

So here I come more or less to the proposals where I send you to dance with crutches and your friends and my actors.

As for the solution … current … surely a little expensive … it’s true … I found it in China.
The video is long – but a few excerpts are enough to get an idea. The Chinese went straight to the point: there is, for each planned experience, the real equipment that allows you to experience it at its best – if you need shoes to really jump from water lily pad to water lily pad, you’ll get the shoes.

I still haven’t found proposals like the ones that came to my mind … yes I’m a little proud of myself, that’s it.

But in the end, even now and without projecting ourselves into 130 years, it is already possible to really bring your movements – your whole body – into virtual experiences.

And if that requires a bit of expensive equipment – a bit too expensive – but that’s exactly what Altair needs.
Tell me for what crazy reason would I go and spend money in the virtual rooms of the theatre if I can have the same experience, exactly, at home?

So the theatre has to be able to offer rooms where you can do things that you don’t do at home – which implies adapted equipment – and I have to say that, given what I have in mind and the particularities of live performance, the harness system that lifts you off the floor seems to me both totally adapted and making sure that you won’t come out of there with all your broken limbs.

This installation, this stupid thing, is just perfect. Can you see that?
If you’re Cl4p-Tp, you’re sticking your feet up, and here you are on your pathetic, rusty, veiled roulette wheel: now go ahead and have fun.
If you’re Globox, I reduce your legs to 5 cm above your ankles – and likewise, have fun with that.
What about the kids?
A whole suspended class – a whole class transformed into little fireflies of all colours – who will hang on from point to point to move forward – who will be allowed to turn around and flap away as fast as possible (kicking their feet, of course), who can’t get hurt when they bump into each other, who will hear screaming and laughing, who will slide – kids easily put their hands on their face when they have a big emotion, so they slip – but because they’re in the harness, they don’t fall all the way down – they slip and they can go back up to where they had managed to go : but it’s just great to experience that.

Every time I look at the current VR videos, I feel like I’m at the beginning of the cinema.
We have equipment, the audience is terrorized, and a little thing is enough.

After, all this is going fast – extreme sports are also getting into VR.

Altair comes afterwards: when the audience is no longer terrorized and is looking for funnier, more impossible and much stronger experiences.

Because, you see, I say what I think anyway, at the risk of sounding like the most annoying girl in the world, the chick who’s never satisfied with anything, always trying to find out what’s wrong : it’s all way too close to real life.
I don’t want to blow dry my hair to think I’m in the islands of paradise. I don’t want to put myself on a real-fake board to know that I’m afraid of heights, or to mimic a real bridge in virtual with a friend who is pretending to play golf.
What are these ideas?
For therapies? well why not – to save the planet ????
I’m not concerned – I’m sorry.

No, I want to see in virtual reality what you can’t do at any time or at any cost in your life. That we invent things that are materially impossible for us. There, yes, that’s good. No ? Yes.

And that’s fine like that – I’m not in the technological competition – and we’ll need spectators who are a bit… prepared to find themselves in the places where I want to put them.

So : All is possible – that was the good news of the day. Yes it is !

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Featured Image : Richie’s Plank Experience.

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