The Cinekid Foundation, STRP, Southbank Centre and Migrations have co-commissioned the new interactive media installation Treehugger, as developed by London based experiential studio Marshmallow Laser Feast. Treehugger is the world’s first virtual reality (VR) experience aimed at reconnecting humans to nature and shifting mindsets from consumerism to conservation.
Through a huge replica model of a giant sequoia tree and a Vive VR headset, Treehugger lets the viewer experience the scale and wonder of what is arguably one of the largest living individual organisms on earth. The longer you hug, the deeper you drift into a hidden world just beyond the limits of your senses. You discover the tree’s hidden inner structure: grooves in the bark become giant cliffs; pinecones feel like cathedrals. Exploring further leads viewers upwards to the glorious canopy where they can experience the wonder of complex energy flows reaching high into the uppermost branches.
Collaborating with leading researchers at London’s Natural History Museum and Salford University Manchester, this project uses the latest 3D imaging techniques. A combination of LIDAR, white light and CT scanning creates a VR experience that distorts space and time and makes the invisible visible.
On Display exclusively in the Netherlands & United Kingdom
Treehugger will have its world premiere at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam on the 12th of October 2016. Cinekid is the film, television and new media festival for a younger audience in the Netherlands. Subsequently Treehugger will be on display at the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival in London from the 11th of November 2016 until the 25th of January 2017, at the STRP Biennial in Eindhoven from the 20th till the 27th of March 2017 and at Migrations in Wales from April through to June 2017.
About Marshmallow Laser Feast
Treehugger is the brainchild of Marshmallow Laser Feast, a London based experiential studio working at the intersection of technology, art and science. Always looking to create ground-breaking experiences that immerse and amaze in completely unexpected ways, they employ a wealth of creative disciplines, from photo-real virtual reality to robotic performance and realtime mapping, to push boundaries, redefine expectations and excite audiences worldwide.
Concept by: Marshmallow Laser Feast
Direction: Barnaby Steel & Ersin Han Ersin & Robin McNicholas
Collaborating Artist: Natan Sinigaglia
Executive Producer: Eleanor Whitley
Senior Producer: Mike Jones
Senior Producer (US): Armand Weeresignhe
Production Manager: Mark Geary
Sonic Artist: Mileece I’anson
Binaural Sound Designer: Antonie Bertone
VVVV Developer: Chris Plant
VVVV Developer: Tebjan Halm
Junior Developer :Leina Kocane
Photogrammetry & VFX Supervisor : Scott Metzger
Lidar Scan & Photogrammetry: Mimic
Root System modelling: Ironklad
Installation Technologist: Hayden Anyasi
3D Designer: Harvard Tveito
Tree Fabrication: Kjell Van Norel / Other Fabrications / ML Fabcuts
Natural History Museum
Cornell Ornithology Lab