DUST: VR Art Project that Aims to Transform the Way We Experience Modern Dance
DUST is a VR art project that aims to transform the way people see and experience contemporary dance through a 4 minutes long immersive virtual reality experience and an interactive website. The project explores the boundaries between the virtual and the real-world experiences and advances research in the fields of participatory performance, human-computer-interaction and VR technologies.
In DUST, the audience uses a Virtual Reality (VR) headset to place themselves in the immediate presence of the dancer and within a unique visual and aural scenario which has been created by capturing volumetric recordings of dancers and photogrammetric imagery of Rambert’s building. The resulting effect is exhilarating, allowing the audience to experience the work from different perspectives and within the space where the dance is happening. DUST creates an emotional connection between the audience and the dancers, and between the audience and the digitally reconstructed architecture. It is dance as no audience member has ever experienced before. The project is a demonstration of what dance, performance, film and sound could become in the future of VR.
The piece is inspired by how almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a stardust, including our bodies. Drawing inspiration from these eternal particles which were part of our bodies for an incredibly short moment, as well as the motif of the unthinkable world expressed by the philosophy book In the Dust Of This Planet by Eugene Thacker, DUST seeks to reimagine our perception of body, space and time with the use of digital technologies. It merges real and virtual worlds to produce new environments where physical and digital co-exist and interact in real time. More specifically, it combines the live stream with volumetric capturing of dance and virtual environment and in doing so, immerses the viewers visually, as well as physically and emotionally. DUST seeks to explore innovative forms of engaging the audience and ways of building new narratives through the creative partnership of performing arts and new media. Interaction Preview Trailer by Nye Williams
Project website | vrdust.org.uk
Mária Júdová’s website | mariajudova.net
Andrej Boleslavský’s website | id144.org
DUST is a project by artist duo Mária Júdová and Andrej Boleslavský, produced by Carmen Salas with the support of Arts Council England and Rambert Dance Company. The project has been presented at the V&A’s Digital Design Drop in, Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio and Bartlett School of Architecture in January 2017.
DUST was created with a custom suite of tools that allows to capture, edit and preview volumetric recordings in a Virtual Reality headset. For the dance performance, a Kinect depth sensor and custom software was used to simultaneously shoot the performers from a variety of angles and capture the full volume of the dancer’s body. To produce high resolution 3D models of architecture, the artists used the Reality Capture photogrammetry software and Blender for postproduction. DUST was made with VVVV, a multipurpose toolkit for room-scale VR experience using HTC Vive headset.
2/3 Camera alignment process
The interactive website contains the preview of
the volumetric recordings and supports WebVR.