Created by lead artist Pyaré, PATTERNS is a psychedelic horror experience recounting the resurgence of a repressed past. The VR experience is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and his true family story.
Showcased in the Connexions section, and commissioned by the Festival Européen du Film Fantastique de Strasbourg, PATTERNS will be freely accessible from September 12 to November 28 inside VRChat, the social multiplayer platform available on Steam, for VR and desktop users (more info below).
The Festival Européen du Film Fantastique de Strasbourg created a portal world called Oktopolis, in partnership with VRrOOm. The earlier version of this project won the Best Immersion Award at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal. For those using PC VR and who already have a VRChat account, the direct access link can be found here: https://www.vrchat.com/i/shakira-jaydenshifty-da3f1
In PATTERNS, visitors play as Walter who dives into a hypnosis session to investigate why he feels dispossessed of his own body. Through his memories, his imagination, and a recurring nightmare, you wander through a mental maze to decipher bizarre signs of his own past and uncover the family secret he haunts him. In each room, you must find the hiding place of the Avatar Pedestal. By putting on this new physical envelope, you will unlock the power of the avatar and thus be able to access the passage of the following course.
Once the visitor dons the headset, they are within the mind of the protagonist, exploring his suppressed memories, contained within rooms of a Victorian house. Within room-scale VR, they are able to walk from memory to memory, bearing witness to the unfolding of events. Pyaré uses concepts of redirected walking to reuse the virtual play space continuously, to make the stage feel like a labyrinth, ultimately hoping to let the viewer lose themselves within this world.
Even though the protagonist is being hypnotized in order to get in touch with his inner world, the hypnosis is just the catalyst. PATTERNS is ultimately about exploring one's own psyche and being able to navigate through an inner journey; a self-propelled catharsis. In the same way, the storytelling mechanism requires the viewer to navigate using their own bodies through the story.
For the makers, PATTERNS is about an oppressing atmosphere that leads to a personal journey of liberating truth. Its rich visual universe filled with supernatural elements draws from the inspiration of Pyaré's familial history with the decorative stencils of his grandfather, the 19th-century Gothic culture of spiritism with Victor Hugo’s experiment and Carl Jung’s Red Book.
The sound design and music by Mourad Bncr play a central role in the restitution of this atmosphere. Through the deep exploration of spatial sound possibilities, the voice of the Spirit gives an impression of physical presence, like a sound monster. Besides, the atmospheric music plays a contradictory role, eerily coming from far away.
PATTERNS is created by the lead artist Pyaré in collaboration with the technical director Ando Shah, the music and sound artist Mourad Bncr, the sound designer Jean-Yves Münch, and the VR developer Federico Saldarini. The 15 to 20-minute project benefited from the SAT (Société des Arts Technologiques) in-residence creation program, with the support of the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image - New Media Fund, and sponsored by Matterport, Mettle, and Sonic Emotion.
Dates: From September 12 to November 28.
- Location: Le Shadok, 25 Malraux peninsula. 67100. Strasbourg
- Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Opening night on Friday September 11 at 6 p.m.
You can stream the music inspiration from the same composer here on Band Camp.