What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Transgressions. VR and Vincent Bergerat.

By Fabien

Vincent Bergerat seems to lead several lives filled with artistic creation, photography writing. Last century, he co-founded Citizen K and, this century, he co-founds Ambassade Excellence as Artistic Director. This passionate lover of cinema, François Jullien’s sino-philosophy and snowboard, shares his vision of virtual reality with Fabbula.

Fabbula: What is your overall impression after testing VR for the first time?

Vincent Bergerat: The word that best sums up the experience is TRANS. “Trans” as in transfixed, transparent and transgression. I think that’s what it’s all about. For example, the video for Squarepusher is a for me a trans-genre experience. It prefigures a truly total experience like experiencing life as a butterfly, as a women (for a man) or even a dog.

How would you describe this experience to someone who hasn’t yet tried it?

“you can be everywhere, omnipresent”

Vincent Bergerat: VR is a parallel world and another dimension. It reminds me of Tron and the impression that you can do anything and go anywhere. This doesn’t happen very often in real life. In the VR game you showed me (Drift by Sharpsense, Editor’s note), there is this idea that you become a bullet and follow its path. It’s like taking a motorbike ride in Tron, where you go further and further. It’s the idea that you can be everywhere, omnipresent.
It also made me think of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s the same kind of idea. You reach the end of the universe, but it’s an infinite loop and you can always go further. It’s quite an exhilarating feeling. Maybe that’s because I like running!
VR looks like the final result of several half-successful attempts using other methods. But, this time it really works!

Did your VR experience remind you of anything else that you’ve experienced before?

Vincent Bergerat: Snowboarding. Snowboarding is like surfing, but with 20 waves that stand ready to push you along. You feel that everything is easy and that you’re in complete harmony with the world. It’s a really fluid and calm sensation.

Would you want to try VR again?

Vincent Bergerat: Yes. I’d like to see other things, but, more than anything, I’d like to create experiences. I’ve always been more of a creator. I like to consume and use products, but I’d rather make them.

Have got ideas about what VR could be used for?

Vincent Bergerat: Virtual tourism, for example. You could go on a weekend to an unknown destination — unknown because it doesn’t yet exist. I find this idea fascinating. Rather than just going to Mars, you could go to a country shaped by your interests. This is the same kind of idea as Philipp K Dick in his short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, which was adapted in Total Recall.

And where would you like to go?

Vincent Bergerat: I wouldn’t say no to a trip to Mars with beautiful martians I’d designed myself.

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