John Gaeta, the Oscar-winning special effects guru behind The Matrix trilogy and the forthcoming Speed Racer film, just told me about one of his favorite online hangouts: VRMAG. It's an online magazine about virtual reality in all its forms including, as John describes it, "interactive photography and explorable documentary art." Prematurely hyped during the cyberdelic 90s hysteria, virtual reality has actually progressed in amazing ways as an art form. VRMAG isn't just a technical publication for folks in the biz like Gaeta, but it's also an online gallery for some stunning VR experiences. The new issue features a look inside the closed zone of Chernobyl, Red Square, Mayan ruins, a pill's eye-view from a medicine bottle, the scene inside a washing machine, and many more articles and experiences. (Image above from Aldo Hoeben's "To Be In A Bubble Party At Sziget 2007.") Here's what John Gaeta says about VR MAG:
I have been inspired especially in the last couple years by the effort the magazine is making and have referenced many articles while making Speed Racer…which will be a nearly 100% GREEN SCREEN movie (like 300 and Sin City on crack) with many virtual sets created with HD QTVR locations…something that many VRMAG contributors are converging toward. I also think there is a new entertainment medium under way which will be manifested through some of the experiments reported by them.