The buzz around Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) has grown so loud that it can be hard to know where to look for genuinely innovative work, but Alternate Realities at the Barbican offers a rare opportunity to witness some of the most exciting and groundbreaking developments in the field, and you can experience it free of charge for the rest of this week.
Curated by Sheffield Doc Fest, the exhibition brings together four leading documentary filmmakers who have taken on the technology to explore themes of home, identity, migration and nature. Their work challenges the popular notion that this technology separates us from the ‘real’ world and instead places us firmly within it, taking us to beautiful, sometimes uncomfortable and always thought-provoking places.
In Asad J Malik’s Terminal 3 (an AR piece for the Hololens) you’re cast as a border guard interrogating a holographic traveller whose passage ultimately depends on your whim, while Jonathan Rudd’s Grenfell, Our Home is a powerful and moving testimony from survivors of the Grenfell fire.
Two nature-themed pieces complete the set: Sanctuaries of Silence explores the theme of noise pollution while Life in VR – California Coast is a charmingly cartoonish but utterly immersive trip to the bottom of the ocean, guided by an adorable sea otter.
More event info here.
By Abi Silvester