City of Enchantment is also a virtual experience that follows the story of a company town from the post-war boom of “wonder chemicals” to today’s toxic reality — where every breath is filled with pollutants. At the intersection of environmental reporting and immersive technologies, City of Enchantment translates society’s concerns about pollution from conceptually abstract to visually evident, from academic to actionable.
Driven by purpose AND artistry, City of Enchantment combines the compelling, cinematic properties of immersive experiences, and personal storytelling, becoming the first piece of its kind to help viewers visualize pollution in virtual reality.
Several of my inspirations in this genre, including Gabo Arora’s The Day the World Changed and Eliza McNitt’s Spheres, best straddle the delicate line between offering insights or education and wonder. We have a similar approach with City of Enchantment.
My biggest obstacle in explaining the toxic impact of chemicals been educating others about the dangers of pollutants which can't be seen by our own eyes. After experiencing other immersive experiences in the last several years, I realized VR storytelling conveys messages unlike any other medium; there’s no better way to shine a light on the dangers of an invisible enemy such as toxic pollution than in a fully immersive environment.
It’s a project for those who seek out the wonderment of VR or those who want to see environmental concerns in a new medium; all will take away an important message and call to action from this piece. Once the project is complete, we have plans to tour the experience in my hometown and other industrial centers across the country, allowing communities to finally visualize the impacts of chemicals on our environment and inspire action.
I also see this project as an important tool non-profit and educational groups. We plan to scale the project in a way that offers accessibility to these groups via Google Cardboard. These actions will be captured for the documentary film project.