Virtual & Augmented Reality at Burning Man

Help support this project in it's final phase of preparation!

IDEATE's VR Burning Man project’s purpose is to widen the lens on interactive art by combining physical and virtual space with music, interactivity, cutting edge technology and the ten principles.

The VR for good movement began with a few innovators who pioneered the possibilities for issue awareness and empathy through this new medium. There is now a rising impact movement that is coming from both the tech side and the cause community with a desire to catalyze action. VR and AR are also increasingly being used as tools to assist communities in extreme transitions such refugees and disaster response scenarios.

IDEATE will provide a focal point between emerging media & technology with the impact community at Burning Man by offering multiple virtual art pieces focused on sustainability, art, storytelling, music and dance. The project will be a partnership between several different camps and entities each contributing hardware, software, camp housing, logistic support, human capital, and/or playa space.


The Experience

The theme of the VR art exhibition will be based on the ‘Turing Test’ made famous by Alan Turing in the 1950’s. The purpose of the Turing Test was to determine whether a machine or computer could exhibit intelligence behavior equivalent to or indistinguishable from a human. We will use various VR installations to conduct a tongue and cheek Turing Test at Burning Man. Essentially having fun with the futuristic concept that artificial intelligent beings might, and one day will be present in our everyday experiences and without some form of advanced test, we might not be able to identify them.


Did AI ruin Burning Man?

The exhibition will be set up in three pieces. The first segment will be the AI assessment stations, where users will interact with various VR installations which (theoretically) would only work with real humans and not AI’s. Basically all uses will be determined to be an AI so that we can send them into the next segment called Robo Rehab stations. This segment will be the treatment station and will include various VR installations which will help to re-humanize users by showcasing VR impact videos and other VR installations designed to generate empathy (an emotion that separates man from AI or machine). All of this will be hosted in tandem and concurrently with a live, social, VR rave with visuals projected onto the roof of the dome (sun shade). IDEATE VR volunteers will wear doctor’s scrubs and white lab coats to further the theme of mad scientists conducting a Turing Test.