Wednesday, January 13, 2016

From The New Yorker: Werner Herzog on Virtual Reality


Werner Herzog has never been averse to new technology in his own work (his 2010 CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS was the first arthouse feature made in the contemporary 3D climate) so it's not surprising that he is interested in the implications of Virtual Reality, which is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream phenomenon. He elaborates in an interview with Patrick House of the New Yorker.

He is especially interested in the fact that the expressive power of the medium will lead creators to express new things:
"I am convinced that this is not going to be an extension of cinema or 3-D cinema or video games. It is something new, different, and not experienced yet. The strange thing here is that normally, in the history of culture, we have new stories and narrations and then we start to develop a tool. Or we have visions of wondrous new architecture—like, let’s say, the museum in Bilbao, or the opera house in Sydney—and technology makes it possible to fulfill these dreams. So you have the content first, and then the technology follows suit. In this case, we do have a technology, but we don’t have any clear idea how to fill it with content. 
"The Prussian war theoretician Clausewitz, in Napoleonic times, famously said, “Sometimes war dreams of itself.” Does the Internet dream of itself? That’s a big question. Now let me ask the Clausewitz question about virtual reality. Does virtual reality dream of itself? Do we dream or express and articulate our dreams in virtual reality? It remains to be seen."

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