After creating its Music Village last year, the Les Arcs European Film Festival, currently taking place in the Savoie region of France, has added a new element for its seventh incarnation. The festival's Interactive Village offers visitors the chance to try several experimental installations, including one that explores the latest in virtual reality.
The Machine to Be Another offers two individuals the chance to "exchange" bodies for ten minutes, using virtual reality helmets. The project, created by BeAnotherLab in collaboration with MIT, questions our relationship to otherness, ethics, empathy and the environment, and is rooted in a technology based on studies published free on the web.
It's art with a scientific approach that gives participants the opportunity to embrace their own and each others' bodies in all their imperfections. The process is very simple: both people perfectly synchronize their movements, seeing the world through each others' points of view via Oculus Rift headsets. Together, they achieve the feeling of perfect metempsychosis. It must be strange to look down and see that the hand you're shaking is your own, or that your pecs have been replaced with unknown breasts.
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