The Muybridge Mausoleum
CREATORS: A collaboration between Jesse Eisenhower and Veronica Graham
ASPECTS: VR Interactive Experience
PLATFORM: HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. FREE on SteamVR.
Like an art installation in virtual reality, this project is a playful attempt to recapture the magic of some of the first moving image experiments.
When Eadweard Muybridge publicly exhibited his photo sequencing technology in 1879, he brought greater attention to the powerful link between locomotion and the perceptibility of life. Unlike the still photography that came before it, Muybridge's sequenced images could give viewers an eerily authentic impression of a body laboring through space. Not only was this a boon for scientific observation, it ultimately helped us realize that our senses could accept an artificial impression of life as a substitute for the real thing. Perfecting this substitution has been avidly pursued ever since. The rise of film, TV, and video games is a testament to our collective interest in experiencing a simulated presentation of the world. So it seemed fitting to create a space in virtual reality that acknowledges the new medium's lineage by calling back to Muybridge's early experiments.
In addition to interpreting a few of our favorite samples from Eadweard Muybridge's animal studies, The Muybridge Mausoleum playfully blends elements of shadow play, 19th century magic lantern shows, and early film set design. We like to think of the result as something like a cinema for neanderthals.