‘Tana Pura’ Wins Kaleidoscope’s Top Prize For Excellence In Cinematic Virtual Reality

by Joe Durbin • April 12th, 2016

Virtual reality startup Kaleidoscope recently wrapped a world tour to promote artistic immersive experiences. Produced in partnership with WIRED and Wevr, the Kaleidascope World Tour was designed to both promote the creative use of VR technology and to connect artists with audiences from around the globe. Today, Kaleidoscope is announcing the winners of the awards portion of the tour with artist Mike Tucker’s Tana Pura taking home the top prize.

Tana Pura won the Kaleidoscope Prize For Excellence in Cinematic Virtual reality. The piece is described by Tucker on his website as:

“An audio-visual experience designed for VR and set to a musical composition by [Radiohead’s] Jonny Greenwood. While the experience itself follows a linear narrative, each play through has slight variations and subtle interactions to discover.”

Kaleidoscope’s tour drew in more than 4,000 attendees – according to an official statement – from notable postcard cities such as London, Stockholm, Tokyo, Berlin, and Tel Aviv. This particular tour may be over but  Kaleidoscope co-founder René Pinnell believes that this is just the beginning for the emerging world of VR artistry:

“The movement is global, it’s growing faster than anyone thinks, and the most interesting work is being produced by independent artists.”

A full list of the show’s award winners can be found below:

2016 KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD TOUR AWARD WINNERS

Kaleidoscope Grand Prize for Excellence in Cinematic Virtual Reality

TANA PURA (International Premiere)

UK, Director: Mike Tucker

What is it like to die? That is the question at the heart of Tana Pura, an audio-visual exploration of the moments following death and the soul’s transition into the afterlife. With original music composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Tana Pura draws inspiration from The Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Psychedelic Experience.

Kaleidoscope Award for Best Documentary

CLOUDS

U.S., Director: James George & Jonathan Minard

CLOUDS is an interactive documentary portrait of a community of digital pioneers, explored through the lens of code. The project asks questions about the future of creativity at a time when algorithms play an important role in shaping culture. In its hybrid format, somewhere between a documentary, a video game, and data visualization, CLOUDS allows viewers to navigate a web of ideas. It uses a data-driven Story Engine to present an endless ever-changing conversation, where artists co-exist with their code, presented through real-time interactive visual systems and lush 3D environments.

Kaleidoscope Award for Best Live Action Experience

JET LAG (World Premiere)

FR & IN, Director: Pierre Friquet

Due to her expiring visa, Ju, a 30-year long Brazilian woman, leaves India. Hence she leaves behind her lover, Tanushree, a young Indian woman. Separated by continents they start exchanging audio messages. To express their love in the absence of each other, Ju performs an Indian classical dance and Tanushree, a capoeira dance. Via these physical forms they find a temporary union. When Tanushree’s rational side arises, she questions the relationship, sending Ju diving in a poetic world…

Kaleidoscope Award for Best Animated Experience

OLD FRIEND (International Premiere)

U.S., Director: Tyler Hurd

Produced by Wevr

Lose yourself in a vibrant psychedelic dance party brimming with joyful insanity. VR creator Tyler Hurd and WEVR present a fun animated VR music video experience for Old Friend by Future Islands. Gaze upon the elegant dance routines and enjoy the blissful absurdity. Unhinge yourself, feel the ridiculousness and dance like everyone is watching.

Kaleidoscope Award for Best Interactive Experience

LA PÉRI: A PRELUDE (World Premiere)

FR, Director: Balthazar Auxietre

Inspired by Walt Disney’s Fantasia, La Péri is a visually stunning pas de deux between two dancers, one played by you! On the stage, you are Iskender, a dying prince, in search of “the flower of immortality”. Finally, when reaching the coveted artifact, you face a guardian spirit, “La Péri” who gradually turns into a beautiful ballerina that bewitches you to prevent you from taking possession of the flower.

Kaleidoscope Award for Best Experimental Experience

NOTES ON BLINDNESS (International Premiere)

FR & UK, Directors: Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, & James Spinney After losing his sight in 1983, John Hull began recording an audio-diary documenting his discovery of “a world beyond sight.” John’s original recordings form the basis of this interactive experience, which uses real time 3D, virtual reality, and binaural sound to explore the interior world of blindness.

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