When I think about Fallen Fruit's recent project "The Endless Orchard", the project of planting fruit trees across the vast expanse of Los Angeles, I am reminded of Los Angeles's endless highways, the ever expanding grid, how L.A. seems to extend forever from an airplane. I also think about how Los Angeles is a networked city, how the production that Los Angeles is famous for — television, video games, music and art — is endlessly reproducible via digital means, and circulated via those digital networks.
Lately I have been developing software for the HTC Vive: a cutting edge, room-scale Virtual Reality system. I began thinking about how I could apply my Technology-Art background to Fallen Fruit's artistic/activist/architectural work in a way that speaks to Los Angeles's endless, networked and digital nature.
Here is the a rough outline of a project I would like to do with Fallen Fruit.
The Orchard of Communal Luxury is a multi-sensory experience utilizing room scale virtual reality, scent and eventually physical objects with augmented reality overlays to put participants into a simulated paradise.
Users will experience a verdant orchard, with fictional and hyperreal fruits and flowers that they can actually smell. A binaural soundtrack of bucolic sounds and gentle ambient music played on headphones will cover the din of the art gallery. As the project develops interactive elements (such as items that respond to looks or touches by the user) will be added.
While inside the simulation viewers can contemplate the real and the virtual, what we consider natural and unnatural, and technology’s ability to express spiritual experience.
The Orchard of Communal Luxury will be developed in phases and iterated across multiple installations.
The first phase of the project will include:
The piece will evolve over several iterations to find early bugs and deliver a more seamless experience each time.
Some new experiences could be: