In nature as in digital realms, processes are governed by code—one by genetics, the other by algorithms and other software. In the virtual reality film Myth, Or Fleisher and LIVYATANIM creator Aviv Meshulam pursue this line of thought by creating an interactive world where the natural and the digital worlds become fused.
Rendered in black and white, with various morphing shapes and textures, Myth at some points seems inspired by Peter Saville’s Unknown Pleasures sleeve design. Users can experience the film on a laptop, VR headset, or mobile device, and float through a topographical world from the depths of the ocean, on land, and in the sky, before rising up into pure white light.
While the topographies often mutate into waveforms, occasionally to the music’s rhythm, the “hybrid creatures” that occupy these imaginary landscapes—whales and birds—are sometimes revealed to be made of binary and other kinds of code. Every few seconds, as users explore the world of Myth, the surroundings glitch.
“A main aspect of the film’s uniqueness is its connection to the music of LIVYATANIM,” Fleisher explains on the film’s website. “To create this bond between the visual and audible worlds we decided a main strategy would be to let the music ‘drive’ the visuals.”
“In order to achieve this, we used Midi.js to read the composition’s notation and utilize its rhythms and melodies to control elements ranging from drums affecting the geometry to transitions between scenes,” he continues. “In effect, midi transformed from being a compositional language, to a visual directing language.”