Immersive experience of future libraries at two-day VR installation in Pune

This weekend, Punekars will get to be a part of the immersive experience that future libraries can offer at ‘Infinite Library’, a two-day virtual reality (VR) installation brought to the city by Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan at The Base in Kothrud.

Mika Johnson, creative director, Infinite Library, said, “The idea is to introduce to people, the concept of what libraries could become in the future, where, using AI, they will help to reimagine history and understand interrelations.”

“This project aims to envision new, alternative methods of knowledge transfer, and to introduce the concept of VR rooms, establishing a connection between VR, nature, and culture,” Johnson said. “Libraries changed my life; they led me to many discoveries, offering myriads of labyrinths of knowledge and I want people to be inspired and have different experiences during this installation,” he added.

The two-day installation is an immersive storytelling experience, offering a glimpse into different cultural backgrounds across the past, present and future; expanding the concept of the library into a cross-cultural knowledge transfer through VR rooms. The installation begins by offering a sensory experience to the audience through VR in a ‘cave’ and introducing them to an abstract language, which is also one of the oldest objects. The installation uses folklore and shadow puppets, and enables the audience travel to the ‘European Alchemy room’ and ‘Polynesian Navigation’ to get a multi-sensory experience. “One can also get an opportunity to spend anything between 20 minutes and an hour looking at sub-libraries for this is an infinite library and we are giving you a glimpse into the first three of these rooms,” Johnson said.

Among the highlights of the installation is a shadow puppet demonstration and narration of the ‘Samudra Manthan’ by master puppeteer Gunduraju from Karnataka. Miriam Bruns, director, Goethe Institut /Max Mueller Bhavan, Pune, said, “This mix-reality installation is on a new scale, and a new endeavour into an artificial intelligence (AI) and VR experience for many of the students, information technology engineers and creative minds in the city. We are always at the forefront to promote new cultural and art programmes in the city.”

The project was showcased earlier in Kolkata and Chennai. The experience is free-of-cost but pre-registration through the ticket khidkee website is mandatory.

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