Not only is Chris Milk an artist, he is also the founder and CEO of the virtual reality technology company “Within”, and also the founder of the virtual reality production company “Here Be Dragons”. Milk started off his career in photography and music video production, but has since explored innovative areas of art and widened his artistic range. In a quote from Milk’s website, he has “expanded beyond the traditional: his art straddles experimental genres and unfamiliar mediums, turning new technologies, web browsers, ephemeral events and even physical gestures into new found canvasses” (milk.co). In his early years, Milk worked with many famous artists in his music video production, such as Kanye West, Johnny Cash, and Jack White. More recently, Milk has taken a new path in his artistic career by experimenting with virtual reality and bringing that experience to the viewer. Milk explains his artistic direction as “focused on using cross-media innovations to enhance emotional human storytelling, exposing the beauty in the things – physical, digital, intangible – that connect us all” (milk.co). In present times, Milk is bringing an artistic virtual reality experience to the viewer that is a whole new concept- these virtual reality exhibits bring the viewer to an out of this world state, something that’s never been done before!
After viewing Milk’s work, I appreciate how much he’s putting into making virtual reality a form of art. I wish I could be there to experience some of his art in person, such as “The Treachery of Sanctuary” and “Summer Into Dust“. Treachery is an “immersive” exhibit, where the subjects shadow is manipulated by a triptych to represent a birds life cycle (birth, death and transfiguration). I admired this work because the interactive component of this exhibit helps the viewer really vision themselves in the work. I feel like if I was there, and able to manipulate the exhibit, it would have been a beautiful experience. I liked the three separate panels that showed the different stages of life. Summer is actually my favorite exhibit of Milk’s, because I’ve been to many, many music festivals and have experienced similar shows to the one he put on for Coachella. In the video, the kaleidoscope patterns inside the balls thrown into the crowd are synched with the music Arcade Fire is playing, and the whole experience is something on a whole new level. Seeing that video brings me so much joy, I can almost feel it just by seeing the video because I’ve lived that experience before. Last but not least, Johnny Cash is an interactive music video that’s frames are composed of submissions from fans and people around the world. The viewer of the video can opt to view the video in different ways, such as by highest rated frames or different forms of animation. I think that’s really interesting and would love to create an interactive music video of my own one day.
The Treachery of Sanctuary, (2012)
Summer Into Dust, (2011)
The Johnny Cash Project, 2010