A new art installation gives a VR experience of the human breath within the body and the ecosystems it touches. Launched for the first time during the Tribeca Film Festival, Evolver is an interactive piece of music, visuals, and dreamy narration resulting from the collaboration of two incredible creators.
Join Evolver To Reconnect With Your Body
Cate Blanchett, who previously worked on Carol, and Terrence Malick, responsible for The Tree of Life, returned to work on Evolver, a film closely inspired by human breath. The piece is better experienced in VR and headphones, as it’s filled with music. Evolver is produced by the artist collective Marshmallow Laser Feast in the U.K., Atlas V in France, and Pressman Film in the U.S. While watching the creation, you’ll find yourself in the human body, following the way of oxygen through a branching ecosystem. In the end, the oxygen arrives at a cell. Directed by Marshmallow Laser Feast, Evolver's goal is to showcase the way our body works to up to 100 people at the same time – it will take part in various festivals, museums, and galleries.
But it’s not just based on human breath. Instead, the project is supported by medical data and real human body scanning! Creators Blanchett and Malick worked with science partners like Nicole Shanahan, president of Bia-Echo and Fraunhofer MEVIS. Moreover, they are accompanied by producer Edward R. Pressman, Coco Francini, and Andrew Upton under Dirty Films for a more drastic result. Pressman and Malick, in particular, have a long history together. They started in 1973 when the latter debuted with Badlands. Blanchett, on the other hand, was once again approached by Malick first, after they worked on Knight of Cups and Voyage of Time together.
Immersive VR Experience
That said, Blanchett is the narrator of Evolver. In a meditative style, she starts the VR film by reading a poem by Daisy Lafarge. Then, she leads viewers through the breathing cycle. “Voicing Evolver was not so much building a character but creating an atmosphere or a state of mind,” Blanchett told Variety. “Working with Marshmallow Laser Feast, I responded not only to the arresting visuals but the resonant poetry of Daisy Lafarge’s text.” She felt ecstatic about working with Malick again. “It’s been an extraordinary thing to be in Terry’s orbit. The thrum of his world view is intoxicating and any chance to be in a dialogue with him I leap towards with open arms,” the Oscar-winning actress praised. Apart from the unusual style of the piece, it was the first time she narrated a VR film.
Evolver is a lot more immersive, Blanchett stated, touching viewers on a “metaphysical level." It takes them on a trip with "deep introspection and reflection." Viewers can connect to their bodies and the people around them as they tune into the experience together. Barnaby Churchill Steel, a visual artist and co-founder of Marshmallow Laser Feast, called Evolver an installation. The experience is meant to show humans' bond with nature and other creatures on our planet. “The atmosphere is a co-creation of all breathing beings, you don’t exist except in relationship to everything else. The trees, mycelium, bacteria, pollinators, rivers, oceans are as much a part of you as your own branching body,” said Churchill Steel.
The project received financial support from French telco group Orange and was co-produced by Guillaume Brunet and Morgan Bouchet.