“First Look: Artists’ VR” is a new virtual reality exhibition in the form of a free mobile VR app for iOS and Android, featuring six commissioned works by leading artists: Peter Burr with Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Jeremy Couillard, Jayson Musson, Jon Rafman, Rachel Rossin, and Jacolby Satterwhite.
Jacolby Satterwhite, Domestika, 2017 (still). VR work, sound, color; 15:24 min. Courtesy the artist
A first-of-its-kind initiative, the exhibition explores possibilities for experimental animation in mobile virtual reality. The six works range from fantastic original worlds to moving social commentary and include an astral memorial to victims of police violence (Musson); a guided meditation through landscapes taken from the game Call of Duty: Black Ops, drained of violence and transformed into an ethereal dreamworld (Rossin); a journey through a fantastical industrial nightclub (Satterwhite); a portrait of a woman navigating an unfolding labyrinth (Burr with Heartscape); a simulation of the afterlife (Couillard); and an unsettling dive into an alternate world rife with avatars both banal and magical (Rafman).
HOW TO USE “FIRST LOOK: ARTISTS’ VR”
To experience this app:
1. Download the free First Look: Artists’ VR app for iPhone or Android. You must have iOS 9 or later, or Android 4.4 or later. The First Look: Artists’ VR app will also be available for Gear VR, downloadable at the Oculus store. (See additional device compatibility information below.)
2. Connect to Wi-Fi to avoid data charges.
3. Open the First Look: Artists’ VR app and search through content.
4. Choose a work to download or stream.
5. Use a Google Cardboard or another viewer, or simply turn the phone to landscape mode, to experience all 360 degrees of the video.
6. If possible, wear headphones. If you do not have headphones, turn up the volume on your device.
Device compatibility: iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, and iPod touch (6th generation).
Any modern Android device, newer than two years old.
Special thanks to EEVO for creating the First Look: Artists’ VR mobile app.
ABOUT FIRST LOOK
Established in 2012 and co-organized by the New Museum and Rhizome, First Look is a digital art commissioning and exhibition program that has supported over thirty-five works to date. While the program has previously focused on browser-based art, “First Look: Artists’ VR” presents a group exhibition in the form of a mobile VR app developed by EEVO. This first-of-its-kind initiative from an art museum seeks to elevate VR in an artistic context as a rich emerging medium whose possibilities are still being tested and harnessed.
EEVO is a VR cloud services platform that makes it easy for content creators to launch their own native VR applications across all hardware ecosystems. Founded in 2014, EEVO has been focused on solving the most challenging problems involved in distributing VR content. EEVO’s apps have featured content from Stan Lee, The Empathy Project, Nas, and others.