Virtual Reality Experience: Agog

Agog (2021), is a virtual reality work made in Unreal Engine for the Oculus Quest.

Introduction:

Go to Sidequest to install Agog on your Oculus Quest VR headset. You can also link to Itch.io from this Sidequest page to download the .apk directly, or to download the Windows desktop version: https://sidequestvr.com/app/4023/agog

Project statement:

Agog is an abstract, 3D “world” to be experienced in virtual reality. The name is lifted from the Greek word “photagogia”, which means “evoking of light”, and in the context of Neoplatonic philosophy, was the topic of the corresponding thesis research paper.

Made with a variety of software, including Unreal Engine, TouchDesigner, After Effects, Max MSP and Processing,  luminous and color-saturated structures tower over the participant. Invited to explore the undulating terrain which is dotted with strange forms and “non-forms”, the visitor embarks on an adventure; a journey of curiosity. Spatial drone-inspired sound enhances the possibility to lose a sense of self, while perhaps surprising shifts of level reveal new views and spaces to actually get lost in.  Encounters with seductive objects may lead to small surprises. 

This work connects with the tradition of the romantic sublime, with its themes of awe and wonder. It further traces that line to the ancient philosophy of neoplatonism, aligning with its emphasis on light,  immateriality and the ineffable.

Video work “Beyond Agog” (2021)

Beyond Agog (2021) is a video recorded “on location” inside of Agog. It is designed for loop play, via screen or projection, but a version with Title credits is also available on request. A short trailer is also available on request. HD 1920 X 1080, 00:02:41, with sound.

While this video is no substitute for the VR experience itself, it takes on a life of its own by embodying the transitional experiences of wonder from that speculative, non-ordinary “world”. Fleeting encounters and shifting views present precarious moments of clarity between the elusive and ephemeral realms. Light and sound potentially transport and shift perception beyond everyday experience, and I connect these transrational ideas to experiences described by neoplatonic philosophers from ancient times. This video is a scenic journey into that sublime and curious “landscape”.

Images presented in the set here are views of  Agog captured from desktop views.

Images presented in the set below are views of Agog in square format,  captured from inside the VR headset.