ViRVE is a proof-of-concept endeavor to model a modular, cheap, accessible VR creation lab that anyone can replicate. Donating to our lab will enable us to create careful step-by-step instructions that will jumpstart humanists, artists, & community workers’ creation of virtual reality experiences. We believe that anyone can be taught to understand & work with cutting edge VR technologies— from teachers at every school level, to kids in community centers, to cultural creatives from all walks of life.
We will be asking all of our donors to tell us which prototype we should make first. Making the prototype will help us create documentation that teaches regular folk how to make VR experiences with all kinds of on-hand apps and devices.
ViRVE’s goal is to jumpstart humanists, artists, and community workers’ conversations about VR by showing them how to create their own VR experiences… Where do you start? What are the technical challenges? How do you afford it?
We care about virtual reality because we care about reality, and VR technologies can help us bring new witnesses into each of our worlds, or even to project audiences into new ones. When we shift our media experiences away from passive consumption, we can begin to ask new kinds of questions regarding how VR technologies can deepen our own experiences of our spaces and stories.
It is critical, however, that individuals and institutions alike learn to develop inexpensive and sustainable solutions for creating VR texts that speak to diverse experiences.
If the immersive quality of VR indeed inspires new kinds of wonder and empathy, what would it mean to put the tools for building such engines into many different hands? To map an accessible pathway from wonder to curiosity to creation?
Imagine a professor who wants to teach students something new about a poet whose work focuses on landscape and memory on a Caribbean island. What would it mean to enable a student to stand on the beach, catching a glimpse of cliffs from the shoreline? Or think about the community member who struggles to describe his world in words, but would like to teach others what it feels like to inhabit his living space, his neighborhood. Virtual reality texts occupy an increasingly important place between first-hand experience and documentation.
And don’t worry– we haven’t left our days job! ⇢ We’ve been asked to pilot crowdfunding on Experiment.com. Our hope is that platforms like this can help artists and humanities scholars connect with larger tech and engineering communities. So if you’re interested, support this project, so that we can support others who need more pathways toward arts and humanities resources!