CAVE Takes You Back To 10,000 BC At Tribeca

CAVE Takes You Back To 10,000 BC At Tribeca
April 5, 2019

The film experience moves forward while looking backward with the U.S. premiere of CAVE, a shared virtual-reality experience that transports audiences back thousands of years, April 24 through May 5 at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.


In this multi-faceted virtual reality experience—co-created by Ken Perlin, Kris Layng, and Sebastian Herscher at NYU’s Future Reality Lab—viewers journey to 10,000 BC, when stories were told around a campfire and the history of our ancestors was written on the walls of caves.


The piece whisks its audience into the past and drops them into a dilemma faced by Ayara, a young woman who is struggling to decide whether to accept her role as her tribe’s only emissary to the spirit world.


CAVE was designed from the ground up to challenge the status quo of how audiences collectively experience immersive arts and entertainment. The coming-of-age tale is told using the cutting-edge Parallux system, a fundamentally new kind of shared VR technology that allows virtual experiences to be shared by many people in the same location.


Unlike conventional 360-degree VR, viewers see and hear the story—as well as one another—from a unique point-of-view within the same virtual environment, letting them feel as physically present in the shared world as they would when attending a live theater or concert event.


In 1895, the film industry was transformed by the introduction of the projector, thereby making cinema a truly collective experience for the masses. CAVE takes this to the next level, placing audience members together inside a cinematic universe and replacing the screen with an entire shared world.

“The implications for the future of cinematic experiences are profound,” explains Perlin, director of the Future Reality Lab and a professor of computer science at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. “Rather than merely seeing a story projected onto a screen, large audiences are able to enjoy a deep level of social immersion far beyond what was previously possible.”


Fittingly, the tale the creators have chosen to tell is an origin story for all such virtual realities: early cave paintings, through which humans first began to escape the bounds of literal reality and create shared visions limited only by the imagination.

CAVE is a ground-breaking innovation at the intersection of art, entertainment, and technology,” adds Perlin. “It is the result of a passionate community of creators working to push the boundaries of computer graphics and interactive techniques—and to reimagine the possibilities of collective cinematic experience.”


CAVE will be shown at Tribeca Immersive’s Virtual Arcade, April 24 through May 5, on the fifth floor of the Tribeca Festival Hub Spring Studios (50 Varick Street). Ticketed sessions run from 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. each day.

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