Here’s a chance for nature-lovers to experience the world from completely new and different perspectives. ‘In the Eyes of an Animal’ is an art installation in Grizedale Forest, UK, that lets people the woods through the eyes of its various animal inhabitants!
The futuristic project is the brainchild of a London-based design studio called Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). Commissioned by the AND Festival, it is a virtual reality experience combining nature and technology. Visitors are asked to wear large, moss-faced black headsets as they journey through a LIDAR-scanned woodland, while coming into contact with various creatures.
First, the forest is scanned using a Lidar scanner, a type of remote sensing technology. The points collected are then “decimated into real-time and combined with further data collected with CT scanning and photogrammetry techniques.” The rendered scenes harmoniously blend the elements collected through Lidar with CT scans of insects and animals, thereby interpreting their world. Audio effects are then added to complete and enhance the overall experience. Bass vibrations help recreate the sensations of a breathing, flying animal.
So the result is a hyper-realistic experience that feels other-worldly, opening up brand new perspectives. “We’ve always had a hunger for hacking people’s senses by combining art and technology,” said MLF creative director and co-founder Barney Steel. “In the Eyes of an Animal gave us a chance to use virtual reality as a first person perspective medium – the ultimate way to hack someone’s senses.”
“Using VR to immerse someone in the sights and sounds of animals creates empathy by simulating the way that others sense the world,” he added. “This type of first person perspective experience is – in my opinion – VR at its best.”
The first installment of the installation took place in the forest during the AND festival between September 18 and 20. MLF is now trying to find new partners to help make the project a regular event.
Photos: Luca Marziale / MLF