Archer’s Mark's 'Notes on Blindness' VR Experience Launches on Oculus Store
Archer’s Mark, Agat Films/Ex Nihilo, Audiogaming and ARTE France have announced the worldwide release on the Oculus Store of the acclaimed virtual reality experience Notes on Blindness (also known as Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness).
Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton and James Spinney's VR project is based on the audio diaries of writer and theologian John Hull who, after decades of steady deterioration, became totally blind in 1983. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassette.
These original diary recordings form the basis of the VR experience, a six-part interactive non-fiction project, which uses new forms of storytelling, gameplay mechanics and virtual reality to explore John’s cognitive and emotional experience of blindness.
The experience has won universal critical acclaim, premiering as part of the New frontier strand at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and going on to win the Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities award, the Kaleidoscope award for Best Experimental Experience, and the prestigious Tribeca Storyscapes award.
The Storyscapes jury, comprised of such tech luminaries as Jessica Brillhart, Jigar Mehta, and Saschka Unseld praised the project's 'meticulous and elegantly crafted audio landscape’, its 'care and compassion’ for both the project's protagonist and its audience, and its profound closing message that 'being human is not seeing, it's loving.'
The app will also be released in October for all iOS and Android devices. French, Spanish and German versions will be available on all platforms simultaneously.
The Notes on Blindness VR experience is also currently touring the UK to coincide with the theatrical release of its sister project, the eponymous feature film, with funding from Film Hubs North, Scotland and North West Central’s This Way Up Exhibition Innovation Fund and the BFI’s Distribution Fund. The tour is a collaborative production by Curzon Artificial Eye and Sheffield Doc/Fest.