Art/Culture

Virtually Present, Physically Invisible

Virtual reality “film” Carne y Arena by Alejandro González Iñárritu has groundbreaking debut at the Cannes Film Festival 2017.

May 30, 2017
Conceding that Alejandro González Iñárritu's Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) isn’t technically “a film”, the official website of the Cannes Film Festival calls it, “a 6-minute 30-second experience of virtual reality, a ground-breaking installation which is set to go down in cinematic history.”

Carne y Arena is an immersive experience that requires participants, barefooted and bespectacled (in VR helmets), to step into the world of immigrants. With feet literally in the sand and the desert virtually presented to the eyes, the viewer (experiencer?) becomes immersed in the sights, sounds, and feelings of an individual facing the challenges of migration.
Film still of a virtual reality installation Carne y arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) © Emmanuel Lubezki

Surrounded by other migrants, you’ll experience the anguish brought on by sirens and helicopters before police order you to drop to your knees—along with your fellow VR participants—creating an immersive experience unlike any other.

Following Cannes, the experience will tour the world’s museums, beginning at the Prada Foundation in Milan. This is one “film” you won’t simply be able to download and watch at home and we’re eager for the opportunity to experience it.