There is that stunning visual climatic scene in Interstellar (Chris Nolan) where 5th dimensional viewing in the Tesseract is squeezed into 4D space, so humans can begin to make sense of it. We presently see the world in 3D, but generally in a 2D planar on screen.

This film’s thought processes informs me of the possibilities of VR. Our Newtonian way of seeing the world puts time and space as separate entities. Times flows linearly, through which we largely diegetically experience the world and indeed watch a film.

Yet VR potentiates a break from this experience, not fully realised. It’s as if Cinema, the art form of narrative, is going through its own quantum state revolution. It can occupy multiple states as post cinema, code platform, and a proto Tesserac. We’ll get there as we always have — illustrated in When Old Technologies were New. We often use our existing paradigms to view or operate new technologies. Generally we can’t help it. A most recent scenario being how newspapers treated the web as just another platform in 1996. How interesting it would be to make VR a dominant platform for youngsters, whose nimble minds are not fully set on our conventions.

As a graduate Applied Chemist, I used to wrestle with the visualisation of Kekule’s organic structures. Yet Kekule provided a brilliant artist’s viewport within a Newtonian framework to rationalise its structure. What could VR do? In his highly original work Understanding Media, McLuhan asks:

If men sic [and women] were able to be convinced that art is precise advanced knowledge of how to cope with psychic and social consequences of the next technology, would they all become artists? Or would they begin a careful translation of new art forms into social navigation charts?

I like all the responses I read and would add that modern artists, as their predecessors and contemporaries have done: Dali, Shelley, Picasso, Butler, Nolan, Joyce, will help us realise this new space. A combination of artists’ philosophies and scientists rational theories makes for an interesting time ahead.


Written by

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store