Walk Inside a Surrealist Salvador Dalí Painting with This 360º Virtual Reality Video

Click on the arrows to get the full 360 degree expe­ri­ence.

I felt as impressed as every­one else did when I saw my first 360-degree video, the tech­nol­o­gy that allows view­ers to “look” in any direc­tion they wish. But most of the 360-degree videos that became pop­u­lar ear­ly sim­ply demon­strat­ed the con­cept, and as much aston­ish­ment as the expe­ri­ence of the con­cept alone can gen­er­ate, even more excite­ment came from think­ing about the tech­nol­o­gy’s poten­tial. It has­n’t tak­en long for 360-degree videos to look beyond vir­tu­al real­i­ty — indeed, to look all the way to vir­tu­al sur­re­al­i­ty, as envi­sioned by per­haps the best-known sur­re­al­ist of them all, Sal­vador Dalí.

“Dreams of Dalí,” the 36o-degree video above, drops you into the world of Dalí’s 1935 can­vas Archae­o­log­i­cal Rem­i­nis­cence of Millet’s ‘Angelus,’  an homage to an ear­li­er work (Jean-François Millet’s paint­ing, “The Angelus”) which enjoyed enor­mous pop­u­lar­i­ty dur­ing Dalí’s youth. This ear­li­er work, notes the Dalí’ Muse­um, was “repro­duced on every­thing from prints and post­cards to every­day objects like teacups and inkwells. The late 19th cen­tu­ry paint­ing depicts a peas­ant cou­ple stand­ing in a field with their heads bowed in prayer. For many it was a sen­ti­men­tal work, but for Dalí’ it was trou­bling, with lay­ers of hid­den mean­ing, which he explored through day­dreams and fan­tasies.”

As the artist him­self put it, “I sur­ren­dered myself to a brief fan­ta­sy dur­ing which I imag­ined sculp­tures of the two fig­ures in Millet’s ‘Angelus’ carved out of the high­est rocks.” His for­mi­da­ble imag­i­na­tion con­vert­ed that mid-19th-cen­tu­ry image of rur­al hard­ship and piety into the moon­lit desert land­scape through which “Dreams of Dalí” flies you. Cre­at­ed for “Dis­ney and Dalí: Archi­tects of the Imag­i­na­tion,” an exhib­it at St. Peters­burg, Flori­da’s Dalí Muse­um on the friend­ship and col­lab­o­ra­tion between those two vision­ary 20th-cen­tu­ry world-cre­ators (see Des­ti­no, the short film Dalí and Dis­ney col­lab­o­rat­ed on), the video not only gives the paint­ing a third spa­tial dimen­sion, but a detailed son­ic one fea­tur­ing the god­like voice of Dalí him­self.

If you make use of the arrows that appear in the video’s upper-left cor­ner or click and drag (or, on smart­phones, press and drag with your fin­ger) with­in the frame, you can turn the “cam­era” in any direc­tion. Pay close enough atten­tion, and you’ll spot more than a few touch­es not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal paint­ing that will nonethe­less delight fans of the Dalí sen­si­bil­i­ty, not all of which you can catch on your first flight through. But as much as the expe­ri­ence may feel like a dream — and it counts as one of the few works to real­ly mer­it the term “dream­like” — it won’t van­ish as soon as you emerge from it; you can have at it again and again, see­ing some­thing new and sur­pris­ing each time.

via The Cre­ator’s Project

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sal­vador Dalí & Walt Disney’s Des­ti­no: See the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Film, Orig­i­nal Sto­ry­boards & Ink Draw­ings

Sal­vador Dalí Goes to Hol­ly­wood & Cre­ates Wild Dream Sequences for Hitch­cock & Vin­cente Min­nel­li

Two Vin­tage Films by Sal­vador Dalí and Luis Buñuel: Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or

The Seashell and the Cler­gy­man: The World’s First Sur­re­al­ist Film

Alfred Hitch­cock Recalls Work­ing with Sal­vador Dali on Spell­bound

A Soft Self-Por­trait of Sal­vador Dali, Nar­rat­ed by the Great Orson Welles

A Tour Inside Sal­vador Dalí’s Labyrinthine Span­ish Home

Sal­vador Dalí Illus­trates Don Quixote: Two Spaniards with Unique World Views

Sal­vador Dalí’s Haunt­ing 1975 Illus­tra­tions for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juli­et

Sal­vador Dalí Illus­trates Shakespeare’s Mac­beth

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (3)
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  • Gary Wernham says:

    I have been a Dali fan for as long as I can remem­ber and this is just mag­i­cal. Thank you.

  • Charles Peter Sanderson says:

    Just mag­i­cal and tru­ly amaz­ing. Let us all hope that there’s an after life so that the great man him self can cast his eyes on this mod­ern work of pure genius. Thank you as l too have been fas­ci­nat­ed by his works and thoughts most of my life.

  • Dejan says:

    Love this arti­cle. While the fillm­mak­ing and VR sto­ry­telling is still in its infan­cy, the medi­um does look appeal­ing. How­ev­er, it’s more and more dif­fi­cult to cre­ate sto­ries in 3D. There’s no cin­e­matog­ra­phy and your audi­ence is lit­er­al­ly walk­ing on your movie set. It’s up to the direc­tor to find and place these lim­i­ta­tions.

    At Viar (Start­up com­pa­ny from Cen­tral Europe) we have been hear­ing how tough it is to cre­ate an Immer­sive videos. I’d love to invite VR pro­duc­ers (if that’s ok to the web­site edi­tors) to a pri­vate alpha for a VR edit­ing plat­form in the mak­ing: goo.gl/InTNlP

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