A magical VR journey through the work of Catalan architect and designer Antoni Gaudí has been confirmed as one of the unique experiences at this year’s Belfast XR festival.
Barcelona-based Gaudí was famed for his free-flowing works greatly influenced by nature.
As part of the festival attendees will experience 20 minutes of the awe-inspiring wonder of Gaudi’s visionary creations.
Designed for small groups of six, audiences will have the freedom to explore a shared space like never before.
The story will take festival goers back to 1926 when, weakened by age and feeling his death approaching, Gaudí invites his new assistants to discover his studio, to understand his vision and complete his work.
Deepa Mann-Kler, director and curator for Belfast XR Festival said the experience of Gaudí, The Atelier of the Divine takes audiences into the mind of the famous architect.
She added: “Through the exceptional reconstruction of the atelier, which burned down in 1936, visitors can embark on a narrative journey into the unique psyche of the Catalan master.
“What is so very special about this story, and unusual for VR, is that this is a shared experience where you can see each other’s avatars. It truly is one of the most breath-taking installations around today, and one you will never forget.”
The Gaudí experience was created by Stéphane Landowski & Gaël Cabouat who have been working together for over a decade.
Together they have created more than 60 short films, four feature films, and three documentaries.
Stéphane specialises in the writing and supporting projects during the writing phase.
Stéphane said: “We wanted to design an experience aimed at discovering Gaudí’s brilliant universe through a reconstruction of his workshop, which has now disappeared.
“Overcome by an all consuming mysticism, the architect ended up moving into this hybrid, modular space where as a passionate hermit, he became a tireless worker for God.
“More than a place of work, the studio, made in his image and moulded to his obsessions, had thus gradually become an extension of the artist and, even more, a materialisation of his psyche.”
Gaël then steps in to take over at the production level.
“From the outset of the project, it was clear that we wanted to use the studio’s rendition to tell the story of the man, and to ensure that each wall, each ceiling, as delirious as his thoughts, would tell the story of his dreamlike and tortured universe, like a deforming and dynamic mirror,” Gaël added.
Belfast XR, now in its third year, specialises in curating worldclass immersive technology content that takes the art of storytelling to a new level.
The innovative arts festival which will once again merge technology and art to create a unique virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experience for attendees
Extended Reality or ‘XR’ is the collective name for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). VR is a computer-generated artificial environment with scenes that appear to be real, while AR is a digital overlay onto the real world, which is viewed through your phone or an iPad.
Speaking of the annual Belfast XR Festival, which is an annual gathering for the XR arts – storytelling, visual arts, music, drama, dance, literature and theatre, Deepa said bringing virtual and augmented reality content to new audiences locally is something the team at Belfast XR are passionate about: “I realised that there are so many incredible stories being told in this medium that audiences in Northern Ireland never get the opportunity to experience. This was my key motivation.
“Our ambition is to create an unmissable annual gathering for XR that inspires storytelling and our passion is to bring the best global virtual and augmented reality content to new local audiences. You don’t need to have used a virtual reality headset before, as our team will guide you through the whole process.”
Running on Wednesday February 28 and Thursday 29 at the Black Box in Belfast, this year’s festival theme is Legacy which will offer attendees the chance to experience world history in captivating ways allowing audiences to step into the past, interact with historical figures, and explore significant events firsthand.
Belfast XR Festival is both for XR enthusiasts aged 16+ and those who haven’t experienced any form of XR in the past.
The Belfast XR Festival is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. It is also supported by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, Digital Catapult NI, Future Screens NI and Ulster Screen Academy.
For more information follow Belfast XR Festival on social media or go to belfastxrfestival.com