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Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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You can now visit the spacecraft of 2001: A Space Odyssey in VR

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You can now visit the spacecraft of 2001: A Space Odyssey in VR

Stanley Kubrick is a legend. His name is just as synonymous with satirical wartime comedies as it is with chilling psychological horror. Kubrick built a film career off going against expectations, and always crafting a fresh approach to what might otherwise be stereotypical genre films. His legacy is perhaps most cemented in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which is commonly touted as one of the greatest films of all-time. Or at the very least, the greatest science fiction film of all-time. In Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick, a new London exhibition at the Somerset House running from July 6th to August 24th, Kubrick’s works are celebrated by a medley of musicians, artists, and other filmmakers. Included in the exhibition is one pointed tribute: a 360 degree VR experience.

jogging along the iconic circular centrifuge of Discovery One

Created in collaboration between virtual reality specialists Happy Finish and photographer Norbert Shoerner, exhibit goers will be able to experience a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey first hand. While not facing monoliths nor frantically disconnecting HAL 9000, a more quiet, nuanced scene is explorable. As the viewer, you’ll be jogging along the iconic circular centrifuge of Discovery One, just as Dr. Frank Poole did in the film.

CG artist at Happy Finish, Martin Ocheng, explained in a press release about how he approached recreating the iconic scene. “After studying the video footage of the centrifuge scene I started creating the environments and later focused on the lighting and textures,” he said. “The whole process went quite smoothly, but the main challenge was to find enough information from the original images to accurately recreate all angles with as much detail as possible.”

centrifuge 2001
The centrifuge, as seen in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The entire environment in the recreational project is CG, apt to Happy Finish’s history of creating CGI experiences coupled with VR. This project for the Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick exhibit is Shoerner’s fourth project co-created with Happy Finish. Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick will also feature other Kubrick inspired art, from a Dr. Strangelove (1964)-themed payphone, to a phallic sculpture a la A Clockwork Orange (1971). If there’s anything to be said of Kubrick’s legacy, it’s that he was always innovative and doing the unexpected. In an art exhibit, reestablishing his work within VR feels just like home.

If you’re in London, you can visit the Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Somerset House from July 6th to August 24th.

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