RABBITHOLE//VR is a cyber journey through the inner workings of a Cryptomining station.

 

It’s the future, you see. The machines have taken over; once you put on the headset, you work for them.

 

They’ve got a whole system planned out – one where humans and AI live symbiotically. Once we’ve mined enough data, they’ll take over.

 

This seems ominous to anyone with a social media account, but not from the point of view of our corporate digital overlords. They’ll unequivocally run everything, sure. However, in return, we get to live in digital leisure, without a care in the world. As long as we stay out of their way…..

 

RABBITHOLE//VR is brought to us via FRINGE WORLD Festival by a small local company called Mirage Mahal. Consisting of just four people (including two former PROSH and Pelly contributors), Mirage Mahal specialises in designing computer-generated renderings of pretty much anything. Mostly, they’ve worked with architects and construction firms to produce simulations of buildings-in-progress for the clients who will be living or working in them.

 

However, the team wanted to take things in a more artistic direction, creating an environment inspired and fueled by an Outrun-style Synthpop angst. The MM team self-funded a lot of R//VR, and worked non-stop on the production from December last to make it happen. In my view they’ve done an amazing job.

 

There’s not a lot to R//VR. The story and gameplay are pretty straightforward and linear. In all, the total journey takes about fifteen minutes. However, MM produced R//VR to show off the design capabilities of virtual reality as an artistic medium. That’s where their talent really shines through.

 

Without giving away too much (I went in with no idea of what to expect), the environment and aesthetic choices are gorgeous, and really instil a feeling of enormity and space into the experience. I kept stepping forward or back, having been taken out of the fact that I was actually in a small marked square.

 

As well as this, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. I loved the haunted, droning synth music, provided by local electronic duo Cruel Noon (check them out on Soundcloud ). All of this together created a truly unique Fringe experience.

 

It was also great to just chat to the MM team before and after the show. They crew R//VR themselves and are more than happy to talk about the creative process behind the production.

 

The best part was going into this show and knowing that it’s a group of locals that produced it. Being able to engage with artists about their art often elevates the experience one has of the art.  That was my experience with R//VR. No air of celebrity or massive audiences. Just a group of people excited to show off what they’ve made.

 

Rabbithole VR runs for most of Fringe at the Classrooms at Girls School. Tickets are $15 and you can get them here.

 

Four out of Five Akoins

 

Lachlan Serventy

 

Lachlan Serventy is currently building an EMP generator in his basement. The machines will come. He’ll be ready.

 

Image courtesy of FRINGE WORLD Festival.

 

Woodside Petroleum is a principal sponsor of FRINGE WORLD Festival. Pelican has been a long-time supporter of the Festival, and will continue to show its support. However, the Magazine feels it is unethical for Woodside Petroleum to remain a principal sponsor of FRINGE WORLD, given the current climate emergency, and Woodside’s ongoing contribution to climate change.

 

Other Festivals have demonstrated that ethical sources of funding are possible – you can read more, and sign the petition, here: https://www.change.org/p/fringeworld-side-with-the-climate-and-drop-woodside-petroleum // #fossilfreefringe #fossilfreearts // Arts and Cultural Workers for Climate Action