This article presents Familiar, a VR work by NEWVIEW AWARD 2018 finalist FUKUPOLY. Information on how to view this work is provided at the end of the article.
Heavy Machines Dancing on an Island of Everlasting Summer
It presents a construction site where heavy machinery such as cranes, excavators, and large trucks happily dance under a blue sky. While the dancing heavy machinery enlivens the scene, the destroyed buildings, the liquid flowing into the sea, and the exhausted heavy machinery lying on the ground give off an air of decay. This is a strange paradise on an island where creation and destruction exist side by side.
The artist comments:
Construction machines perform a breakdance on a virtual island. What will it be to create, to destroy, to live? What do you think?
（Cited from NEWVIEW official website）
Breakdancing at a Construction Site
Shovels and stylish safety helmets dance furiously to lively sounds.
Here, the wheel loader sits on the floor.
Construction cones dance happily atop crumbling buildings.
Dump trucks also dance nimbly, bobbing their heavy heads.
Meanwhile, portable toilets spend their time relaxing by the seaside.
This crane truck dances amidst destruction while swinging a steel ball.
Houses, skyscrapers, and commercial buildings also dance to the groove.
We see a pure white house with a halo.
It beats a rhythm from above the clouds.
These are buildings to be destroyed.
Despite the new houses and buildings, the ruins are devoid of any signs of life.
There they lie, tired of dancing: helmets, cones, and heavy machinery.
It looks as if they have had too much to drink.
This island, where heavy machinery dances, is a magical paradise.
Filmmaker, VFX Artist ｜Japan
FUKUPOLY was born in Gunma, Japan in 1977. After graduating from the Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Art and Design at Musashino Art University, he taught himself 3DCG and VFX and started his career as a Digital Artist. He is active in a wide range of fields, including CG production of corporate commercials and music videos, video production using CG and VFX, installation production, 3D modeling using a 3D printer, and 360-degree spatial video production using a head-mounted display.
Between Destruction and Creation
Heavy machinery dances on this construction site. Structures and walls are being demolished. While heavy machinery presides over symbols of destruction, it also plays the role of construction. This space, which appears to be a demolition site, may simultaneously be in the midst of construction.
Buildings are erected and then collapse over time. Forests of building materials are cut down and, with the passage of time, branches and leaves grow back up. This cycle of destruction and creation is an everyday phenomenon in the capitalist society we live in today. Companies utilize natural resources, build infrastructure, and produce goods in order to make a profit. When those resources are exhausted, the market dries up and another market is created and developed. In our society, where progress and capitalism go hand in hand, we cannot ignore the destructive aspects of progress.
For example, in urban gentrification, investments are made with the goal of revitalizing blighted and declining neighborhoods by renovating unsafe areas in urban and low-income neighborhoods. While this is attractive to middle- and upper-class people, it increases the cost of living for those who have lived there for years, forcing them to move elsewhere. Creating something new thus involves sacrifice and destruction.
Hence, we can both create and destroy. We can find raw materials and use them with the power of creation to build houses, roads, and bridges, but we can also destroy them. We can give birth to new life, but we can also take that life away in conflicts. We can create art, music, and literature, but we can also destroy them.
As Pablo Picasso once put it,
“Every act of creation begins with an act of destruction.”
Although this was intended in the context of artistic creativity, Picasso believed that to be truly creative, one must destroy old knowledge and build something new. Only then can affirmation and creativity take up residence in the burnt-out field of negation and destruction. By closely intertwining destruction and creation in this way, Picasso would always create something new.
Finding the balance between creation and destruction is not easy. If we destroy more than we create, our civilization will collapse. I believe that the artist is giving us an opportunity to rethink these matters through the questions “what is creation?”, “what is destruction?” and “what is life?”
How to experience a VR scene
If you are accessing this page from a smartphone, please click on the “Experience the Scene” button (*If you are experiencing the scene on a smartphone for the first time, please also refer to the following instructions).
After clicking, the following screen will be displayed.
If you have already downloaded the STYLY Mobile app, please select “Continue on Browser”.
You can then select “Play on Mobile App” to experience the scene.
If you have an HMD device, click the “Experience the Scene” button from your PC (web browser), then click the VR icon on the scene page.
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For those who want to know more about how to experience the scene
For more information on how to experience VR scenes, please refer to the following article.
Edited by Sasanishiki
Translated by Sho Ishiwata