Shipping container on the Museum Reserve, Dunedin

30/09/2016 - 07/10/2016

Dunedin Arts Festival 2016

Production Details

A virtual reality experience 

The Cube is an awe-inspiring visual adventure that adds another dimension to the mysterious disappearance of eight high school students and their teacher in the Great Deep Basin Desert in America in 1959. Letters written by the students were found in a black cube in the desert. This is the first time in the world that The Cube has been presented in tandem with Beyond The Bright Black Edge of Nowhere.

Expect excitement and unease as you enter the cube. Your host in the cube fits your oculus headgear that will transform your reality, taking you on a technological spin into another world.

The Cube is virtual reality at its best, blending digital technology and storytelling to bring the whole world alive in your head. You become one of the eight students who disappeared … are you up for it?

“if you’re after an unusual, thrilling and stunning experience I thoroughly recommend The Cube. The technology is mind-blowing.” Brighton Digital Festival 

Fri 30 Sept – Fri 7 Oct
Plays continuously between 11am – 9pm  

Shipping container on the Museum Reserve 

$10 Cash Only
No bookings
Door sales only 

DURATION:  12 Mins

Theatre ,

12 mins

A fantastic display of bleeding edge expression

Review by Reuben Hilder 01st Oct 2016

Inside an old shipping container on the Museum Reserve you will find what I can confidently state will one of the most unique works of art you will have seen in quite some time. The Cube is a fascinating Virtual Reality experience using the newly released Oculus Rift technology to take you on a mind-bending journey from a plywood box in America’s Great Basin Desert through space to a place where the fabric of reality itself becomes blurred. And I don’t just mean this figuratively. 

Unfortunately, much of The Cube lacks polish. The grainy, low quality rendering of the virtual world combined with the slight lag between moving your head and the headset’s updating of your viewpoint limits the extent to which it is possible to become fully immersed in the experience.

At the very start of the piece I find myself in front of a large number of written pages, but they are so blurry I struggle to make out even the largest of the text. Many of the 3D models seem crudely created and sorely needing a little more work and a higher polygon count, and while I have a suspicion that much of this is intentional, I don’t think it adds enough to justify the impact it undeniably takes away from some of the moments that seek to make full use of the potential of Virtual Reality.

Of course, some of the issues, I am fairly certain, are not intended. At several points during The Cube you are invited to reach out and touch in the real world objects from the virtual one. For me, the effect is ruined when, on blindly reaching out, I grab the hand of the person holding the object rather than the object itself.

However, don’t let any of this dissuade you from going to see The Cube. The issues I have mentioned are merely the rough edges that are inherent with a medium in its infancy. Perhaps the best way to think about The Cube is as a showcase of the potential of Virtual Reality as a medium for the presentation of visual art, and viewed as such it is a triumph. The entire experience is very well planned to show of the innovative new tricks and techniques that Virtual Reality makes possible.

Visual issues aside, the ingenious spectacle created will be enough to make your head spin and your jaw drop, and if it doesn’t make you exited for a future in which VR becomes more widespread as an artistic medium, I don’t know what will. It is a fantastic display of bleeding edge expression and if you were to miss it you would be doing yourself a great disservice. 


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