Watch, Listen, Read, See: VR Trees And Creators Of Culture

Watch, Listen, Read, See: VR Trees And Creators Of Culture
Design

PSFK staff members recommend four things to, you know...

Isabella Alimonti
  • 4 august 2017

This week’s edition of ‘Watch, Listen, Read, See’—in which we round up recommendations from PSFK editors and staff—crisscrosses into several corners of culture (cinema, music, experiential art) with a special focus on how it’s made. Welcome the weekend with some magnificent treats for your ears, mind and eyeballs.

WATCH: Tree VR

“If a tree falls in a virtual forest and someone (donning a VR headset) is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes,” says PSFK editor Emily Wasik. “Often when people think of deforestation, they think, ‘It’s not happening in my backyard.’ Thanks to Tree by Milica Zec and Winslow Porter, people can now experience it happening to them, taking the concept of VR empathy (literally) to new heights!”

“At Intel’s VR event on Tuesday, the Tree team asked me to take a seed and place it in a pot of soil in front of me, to symbolize the tree I was going to grow into. They then placed a haptic vest on me that made me shake as I saw myself grow from a seedling into a tree, growing taller and taller, while watching and listening to the birds and monkeys in the forest around me. Finally, I grew into one of the tallest trees in the Peruvian rainforest, overlooking the entire landscape and feeling the wind (provided by a hand fan!) brushing against my branches. A flame was then lit up close to my nose, and I saw, heard and smelled the forest burning around me, in a slash-and-burn deforesting operation.”

Tree has been brought to festivals from Tribeca to Cannes, and it continues to be presented at VR showcases, so keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, you can watch this enchanting sneak peek.

LISTEN: Dunkirk Sound Illusion

Even more than visuals or performance, the sound design of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk made a lasting impression on those of us who saw the movie last weekend. This short video from Vox (really, a watch and a listen) looks at how composer Hans Zimmer uses a very specific combination of notes to build intensity through the film score—an illusion known as a Shepard tone. The trick? Layering several tones an octave apart each other makes it seems as though the music is rising higher and higher, though it never actually does.

READ: If SoundCloud Disappears, What Happens to Its Music Culture?

If you haven’t been following Jenna Wortham’s writing (and podcasting) on technology and culture, we can’t wait for you to start. This week’s issue of The New York Times Magazine includes her take on a subject of great concern to some of our nearest and dearest: SoundCloud, the community-oriented music streaming platform, is in trouble. Wortham investigates the circumstances surrounding recent reports of the financial crisis threatening to shut down the company and recalls its history of helping unknown artists flourish outside of the mainstream music industry. She points out how “the most successful online communities, like SoundCloud, have the feel of public spaces, where everyone can contribute to the culture;” yet these digital gathering places, often dependent on monetization, run the risk of being obliterated.

A participant watches ‘Tree’ at an Intel event in New York City. Photo: Mathias Wasik

SEE: How Artists Trick Your Brain

On the subject of illusions, this graphic feature on Wired breaks down the visual effects of stunning art installations from Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, James Turrell and Robert Irwin. Each one is a feat of engineering that plays with the viewer’s perception to create an experience much greater than the sum of its parts. During our PSFK off-site last week, we had a chance to explore a similar work from Irwin called ‘Excursus: Homage to the Square³’at Dia:Beacon. A series of rooms walled in by translucent scrims, the piece, as Julia Halperin writes, “makes everything feel fuzzy, like you’re walking through a dream.”


Lead Image: Mathias Wasik

This week’s edition of ‘Watch, Listen, Read, See’—in which we round up recommendations from PSFK editors and staff—crisscrosses into several corners of culture (cinema, music, experiential art) with a special focus on how it’s made. Welcome the weekend with some magnificent treats for your ears, mind and eyeballs.

+Arts & Culture
+arts & culture
+Augmented & Virtual Reality
+Design
+Entertainment
+environment
+illusion
+Intel
+Music
+Public
+soundcloud
+technology
+USA
+Virtual Reality
+Wired
+work

Learn About Our Membership Services

Need Research Help?
As a member you can ask us any research questions and get complimentary research assistance with a 4-day turnaround. Reports inclde stats, quotes, and best-inclass examples on research topics.
Remain Informed & Strategic
We publish several trends reports each month. By becoming a member you will have access to over 100 existing reports, plus a growing catalog of deep topical analysis and debrief-style reports so you always remain in the know.
See Trends Come To Life
Meet your peers and immerse yourself in monthly trend and innovation webinars and discounted conferences.
No search results found.