Praised indie studio Tale of Tales may have announced their departure from the video game development scene back in June, but the sun hasn’t set on this creative duo just yet (pun fully intended).
In fact, every cloud has a silver lining.
Recently, Tale of Tales’ Studio just met their kickstarter goal for a unique VR contemplation project: Cathedral in the Clouds. Using VR and video game technology, Cathedral in the Clouds is an exploratory art experience, featuring an ever-expanding gallery of Religious imagery through the canvas of living dioramas. Despite not being religious themselves, Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn (the husband-and-wife duo of Tale of Tales) wanted to convey the emotional experiences imprinted on them by these Gothic and Renaissance era art pieces. More importantly, they wanted to explore universal themes such as kindness, self-sacrifice, patience, empathy, and love.
It’s not just about looking at art, it’s experiencing it first hand and submerging yourself within a virtual reality that forces you to think, feel, and contemplate on the living event unfolding in front of your eyes. From floating dust particles to shifting light, air flows to show the subjects’ breathing; Cathedral in the Clouds exhibits a whole new level of appreciating art through means of virtual reality.
If that isn’t the tightest shit you’ve ever heard, well hold onto your hats because your minds are about to get blown.
Cathedral proposed gallery layout, courtesy of Tale of Tales’ Kickstarter page
Starting with Christian themes, the studio plans to delve into other stories and subject matter, such as ancient mythology, fairy tales, and even pop culture. On top of that, with the vast amount of history, stories, and themes to explore, there will never be a limit to where this can go.
Think about what this means when we look at the bigger picture.
What we have here is an amazing branch to art curation, and an invitation to preserve some of the world’s most influential and oldest art pieces. As time goes on, the state of classic masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, The Birth of Venus, The Persistence of Memory (just to name a few notable ones), will deteriorate with age, and exposure to the public, light and the elements. The importance of commemorating and preserving memory through digital means will be meaningful for maintaining culture.
Not to mention, this also provides a fresh perspective for art appreciation; whether an enthusiast or casual onlooker, this project is valuable to both groups, and allows the exploration of art in a completely new way. Where you once went to a museum to view masterpieces, you now have the potential to create an intimate and meaningful connection at home. It goes beyond the age-old questions of “how does this painting make you feel?” to “what are you experiencing in this moment, with this piece?”
Most impressive about this project is that it is freely available to anyone, with the studio relying only on donations for production and maintenance. Their tiered structure for backers is pretty phenomenal as well.
Video games and art: both share parallels in perspective. People’s experiences are unique and personal. They can strike fear in you. They can bewilder you. They can even offer humbling moments. If the technology we have cannot offer a way to see or feel things differently, then what are we using it for?
Kate is the Deputy Editor and graphics person for AYBOnline. It just so happens that she is also a long time art enthusiast herself. Her opinions are her own. Feel free to follow on Twitter!