Former NASA Artist in Residence Laurie Anderson Creates an Immersive VR Moon Installation
Some lucky astronauts and a handful of very rich people will soon be traveling into space and around the moon, but what about the rest of us? Fortunately, there's always Virtual Reality. CNN reports that a VR installation at Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art allows visitors to experience a different kind of trip to the moon-one that blends science, art, fantasy, and symbolism to tell a unique story and give a different perspective of the massive object that illuminates our night skies.
From its views of the Earth and simulated rock formations, to imagined constellations of polar bears that disappear as you view them, the "To The Moon" VR experience is not meant to be a true-to-life depiction of what it would look like to stand on the moon. "I want to walk into a work of art and become it, get lost in it," said artist Laurie Anderson, who created the installation in collaboration with mixed-media artist Hsin-Chien Huang. "Every artist since the beginning of time has wanted you to come into that world. VR offers you that in a way that is unique." For three years, Anderson was given access to NASA facilities as the space agency's first artist-in-residence. "I just was a fly on the wall at Mission Control in Houston, Jet Propulsion lab in Pasadena, the Hubble in Maryland," she told CNN. "Artists have a different point of view and that should be represented." Using that experience, Anderson and Huang got to work designing the virtual world for the exhibition, "The Moon: From Inner Worlds to Outer Space ," which opened in September and runs through January 20, 2019.
The experience also goes to a dark place and imagines the moon destroyed by mankind with waste from Earth. "We did different phases of the moon, different aspects, looked not just at the romanticism of the moon but dystopias," said Anderson. The video above gives a small taste of the installation, but to fully appreciate it, you'll have to find your way to Denmark or hope that it comes to a museum near you in the future.