Flower Dreamworld Project
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The Flower Dreamworld is an interactive and immersive XR art experience that explores the archetypal meaning and spiritual significance of flowers in the collective consciousness.
The purpose of Flower Dreamworld is to present an experience of beauty, enchantment and awe that feeds the hunger in the human heart for connection with nature and the unseen world.
The experience takes participants on an immersive journey through the inner world of flowers, and their power to benefit our emotional and spiritual states. The themes of the project emphasize the life impulse flowers represent for us… the innate impulse we share in common with all of life to grow, bloom and express our essence.
“Surging up from the roots, the intent to flower and bloom thrusts up to fulfill potential,
Not one, not two, but a never-ending profusion of blossoms, the apex of growth
An outpouring of divine abundance in a continuous spiral, the propagation of life.”
From the spoken word narrative
It begins with a hemispheric dome cinema presentation followed by a social VR Enchanted Garden experience. The VR garden experience also incorporates educational elements. Together the dome film and social VR experience are designed to awaken awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, and to spark the visitors’ own innate impulse to grow and bloom.
The film is a poetic journey into the beauty and wonder of the inner life of flowers, a heart-opening, mind-expanding experience of the beauty and magic of nature. The artistic aesthetic fully leverages the unique properties of the full dome experience to elevate mood and create a sense of awe and wonder. The source imagery is drawn from the artist’s macro-photography series of flowers (as seen on this page), evoking an abstract dream world of beauty, color and organic shapes.
The project is geared to a wide general audience. We anticipate the broad appeal of the subject matter will attract a wide range of visitors of all ages and ethnicities who might not otherwise engage with art or immersive tech.
We are partnering with worthy organizations focused on protecting pollinators, preserving habitats and supporting regenerative agriculture practices as a way to encourage visitors to take inspired action to bring more beauty and nature into their own lives, and to join in protecting what they love.
The immersive experience design incorporates two linked experiences: the 30-minute full dome film followed by a social VR experience inside an Enchanted Garden. The hemispheric dome film will be presented in both real-world physical dome theaters and a virtual reality dome hosted on a VR metaverse platform. The Enchanted Garden design involves research into the unique sense perceptions of pollinators, and explores how to translate them into interactive first-person VR experiences.
Full Dome Film – physical world domes
The film will be exhibited in real-world dome theaters via film festivals and a combination of touring events and licensing to dome theaters and planetariums globally. Attendees of the licensed screenings will be given codes to enter the Enchanted Garden VR experience at their convenience (to include a screening of the dome film on the VR platform). Attendees of the touring events will be able to enter the Enchanted Garden immediately following the screening with facilitators and HMDs on hand.
Full Dome Film VR Platform
The visitor uses an HMD to enter the VR platform with a ticketed code and arrives at a central landing hub. Signs direct the visitor to take the path formed by two rows of cherry trees in full bloom to the dome at the end. The rows of cherry trees form an arch overhead. The visitor walks through a musical pink-hued tree tunnel under a gently falling shower of cherry blossoms.
Moderators welcome the visitor and guide them to take a seat in the dome. The 30-minute film begins at the scheduled time. At the end of the film, a short orientation film is played, demonstrating how to explore the features of the Enchanted Garden.
(For examples of hemispheric dome experiences in VR platforms created by our team, please see the DOMANCE Exhibition and the 2021 Burning Man Camp VR)
Image from Domelandia in AltspaceVR
The Enchanted Garden
Moderators guide the visitors from the VR dome into an Enchanted Garden, a giant flower dream world that responds to our gestures and actions. This is a world populated by flying pollinators and dancing nature spirits, a world filled with sound, light, color and motion.
The visitor can explore the sensual nature of flowers up-close and personal, even taking on the avatar of a pollinator and experiencing flowers as a hummingbird, bee or butterfly does.
The Enchanted Garden design applies research into the unique sense perceptions of pollinators and explores how to translate them into interactive first-person VR experiences inside a 3D interactive flower world created using both infrared and macro-photogrammetry (a volumetric photography technique) to capture the intricate structure and texture of flowers
The entry and boundary walls of the garden are formed from giant flowers that respond when the visitor makes slow, sweeping, circular gestures by rippling, waving, opening and closing in spiral patterns, inviting a contemplative flow state in the visitor.
In the Enchanted Garden, nature spirits signal visitors with sound and light cues to explore an interactive element. Visitors can play with pollinators (butterflies, bees and hummingbirds), sending them to flowers and other visitors or they can become a pollinator. They can design and plant their own garden, and then use their VR wand to see it grow and come into in full bloom. Visitors can send ribbons of color and currents of scent to other visitors. And more.
Glyphs interspersed throughout the Enchanted Garden encourage interaction, learning and dialogue. When activated, the glyphs open to…
Bestow a musical shower of petals
Display factoids about flowers, pollinators and their vital connection to humanity
Display short sayings about flowers and quotes from spoken word script
When the visitors’ allotted garden time ends, they are guided to an exit portal which transports them back to the original landing hub.
VISION & PURPOSE
Inspire + Educate + Elevate
What are flowers in the psyche of humankind? Flowers are significant in every culture on the planet, from indigenous tribal cultures to the most cosmopolitan urbanite. Everywhere flowers bloom, they captivate and enchant humans with the sensual, organic beauty of nature. What if we stripped away everything our minds know about flowers and simply connected with their innermost essence? How do they experience themselves? Do they dream?
Flowers express the sensual organic beauty of nature. Beauty, play and mindful presence are antidotes to epidemic levels of stress and anxiety plaguing society today. Beauty and mindful presence can uplift, inspire and elevate human consciousness. This is the foundation for the immersive experience of Flower Dreamworld.
Part of the vision for the project is to develop a taxonomy and process for world-building in metaverse platforms to foster mental/emotional wellbeing and spiritual connection. We urgently need the mental health benefits (like psychological resiliency) derived from spiritual connection to something larger than ourselves.
Extended reality technology can reveal unseen worlds and activate spiritual connection. We want to open these worlds for the visitor to explore in a safe, accessible, interactive art experience, inviting the visitor to enter the world as an active participant as opposed to a passive observer.
The immersive journey and poetic narrative of the dome film are designed to awaken awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. The Enchanted Garden offers the visitor a direct experience of the ecosystem surrounding flowers including pollinators. We care for and protect what we love.
The project will provide ways for visitors to get more personally involved with gardens, preserving habitats, protecting pollinators, supporting regenerative agriculture and the worthy organizations focused on these issues.
Hacking Spirituality In The Metaverse
I have a vision for utilizing metaverse platforms, XR and game engines to achieve spiritual awakening at scale.
A significant part of my vision is to develop a taxonomy and artistic process for fostering mental wellbeing, resiliency and spiritual connection in metaverse worlds through scalable immersive art experiences with broad appeal.
I believe that we are at an inflection point where the global challenges humanity faces can only be solved with a collective evolution of consciousness. Our sense of ourselves and our understanding of the world we live in (both natural and cultural) has to grow and expand past the limiting ideas that produced the current conditions.
The traditional path to spiritual awakening typically requires many years of devoted study and practice, usually under the guidance of a recognized teacher. We don’t have that kind of time for 8 billion people to wake up to the truth of who they are and how all life on planet Earth is inextricably interconnected and interdependent.
Can we create metaverse experiences that stimulate spiritual connection and feelings of oneness, peace, awe and love, regardless of cultural or religious background? Can we scale it? Yes, we can!
These experiences are available to every human being, no matter their race, gender, social or economic status. It’s innate in each and every one of us. We just need the spark to ignite it.
As a *technoshaman, my work is devoted to this mission: creating immersive art that can stimulate spiritual connection, creating narratives that engage people with an inner journey, using archetypal symbols to activate their innate capacity for joy, love and oneness with all life.
(*Technoshaman: one who crafts multisensory digital worlds and experiences to elevate and harmonize human consciousness on a mass scale.)
The Shimmer of the Quantum Field
It all started with the shimmer of the quantum field.
I observed this shimmer phenomenon in a deep state of meditation. Further investigation revealed the quantum particles continuously rotate, alternating back and forth between inner and outer reality, flickering between physical and non-physical, trillions of times per second.
This fluctuating pulsating dance of quantum particles creates the shimmer phenomenon.
I was fascinated by this phenomenon and wanted to see if I could capture this shimmer in nature, which led me to photograph flowers close up. That initial inspiration was the genesis of the Flower Dreamworld project.
Despite using only the most basic point-and-shoot camera with a macro feature in my early experiments, I succeeded in capturing an iridescent shimmer on the surface of the petals that was invisible to the naked eye.
When viewed in extreme closeup, the flower images had an other-worldly, abstract quality and sensuality that ignited my imagination.
Was this a shaman dream world of flowers, or the dreams of flowers, or both?
As my creative vision for the project evolved, I began to think about the significance of flowers in the collective consciousness. Meditation sessions attuning to the essence of flower consciousness generated profound insights and provided the source material for the spoken word script.
SPOKEN WORD SCRIPT
Spinning vortexes of invisible light and color
swirl faster and faster
particle accelerators of pure potentiality
A bursting, sparkling frenzy of Aliveness
charged with the divine life impulse
to sprout, sprout, sprout
grow, grow, grow
Effervescent bubbles shimmer
Quantum sparks flash and flicker
A gazillion microscopic suns blaze
As Spirit springs into form
Surging up from the roots, the intent to flower and bloom thrusts up to fulfill potential,
Not one, not two, but a never-ending profusion of blossoms, the apex of growth
An outpouring of Divine abundance in a continuous spiral, the propagation of life
Rooting into the Earth, rooting into Source
Alchemizing spirit into matter
The nature spirits spin and swirl electrons into form
They sing to the pollinators
The winged emissaries of the dream world
In a primal dance of sex, beauty and love
Here we surf on multi-hued currents of scent wafting across reality fields
Sailing on chromatic ribbons of invisible color spectrums, the source of all color on planet Earth
Soaring on jet streams of silent sound waves
Weaving a tonal chorus from filaments of light, clouds of scent, sound and color
All one seamless, symbiotic mesh spanning dimensions
Botanical vulvas, the feminine portal of life
Seduce and enchant us all
Raw and refined
Sensual and pure
The deepest, richest magic
A perpetual unfolding of Divine Love, Divine Beauty
Transmitting the blessing of Divine Grace
Speaking the truth that we are loved and supported at every point of our existence.
Artist & Creative Lead: Mikhaila Stettler
Mikhaila Stettler is a technoshaman*, a multidisciplinary artist, writer, producer and world builder focused on creating immersive art and entertainment to activate human potential and awaken spiritual connection.
A creative visionary, she brings a unique perspective and out-of-the-box strategic thinking to every project, inspiring teams to see things in new ways and expand their sense of possibility.
Eclectic and multi-talented, Mikhaila’s creative process draws on multiple strands, incorporating over 30 years’ experience as a doctor (founded 6 medical clinics and wellness centers), intuitive, creative mentor and meditation coach. She integrates her art practice and spiritual practice together, bringing the mastery of a lifetime of rigorous contemplative practice to her work.
She’s a featured speaker and artist at metaverse and Web3 conferences discussing metaverse platforms and worldbuilding to create experiences that foster mental wellbeing and spiritual connection.
In February 2022, she gave a talk on “Hacking Spirituality In The Metaverse” at the GatherVerse Summit where she shared her vision for utilizing metaverse platforms, XR and game engines to achieve spiritual awakening at scale. She also produced and led a roundtable “Flourishing In A Friendly Metaverse” at the same event.
In December 2021, Mikhaila completed an artist-in-residency at Enter The Metaverse conference, produced by Tech Circus and sponsored by SuperWorld. The work created for this event extended her immersive 2D video journeys into 360º film, VR and a full dome film. An NFT collection was sold in support of her non-profit partners Leyline and Disaster Fighters. The residency included giving a presentation during the event and a follow-up livestream event offered free to the public.
This work was re-edited into a full dome master and included in the DOMANCE exhibition, the world's first 360º immersive NFT Dome exhibition, produced by Searchlight in partnership with Vortex Community Circle.
Other recent work of note includes a prototype of her immersive video journeys, Obsidian Dreamworld, which was a short-listed finalist in the Esoteric Film Festival and semifinalist in the Alternative Film Festival.
*Technoshaman: one who crafts multisensory digital worlds and experiences to elevate and harmonize human consciousness on a mass scale.
Executive Producer & Chief Technical Lead: Ed Lantz
Ed Lantz is an immersive media entrepreneur, engineer, producer and experience designer.
Ed left aerospace engineering in 1990 to transform traditional planetariums into immersive visualization environments, designing over a dozen dome theaters worldwide including Egypt’s Library of Alexandria Planetarium, Domodigital at Papalote Museo del Niño in Mexico City, and the National Space Centre in Leicester, UK.
He sees modern digital domes as “digital temples of transformation” for their ability to combine art and science to create compelling immersive journeys, performances and experiences with positive impact.
His company Vortex Immersion Media develops immersive media venues and experiences – both real and virtual - for clients and audiences worldwide.
Lead Experience Designer: Kathleen Cohen
Kathleen Cohen is Tech Humanist and an XR Immersive Strategist and with over 25 years building both user and guest experiences.
Kathleen’s background includes working as an artist and creative producer for DreamWorks Interactive, IBM Centers for Innovation and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Kathleen also was the former Vice President of Digital Innovation & Integration for the National Constitution Center helping to tell the contemporary story of the U.S. Constitution.
Kathleen sits on the Advisory Board of holoride (Munich); a spinout of Audi innovation and winners of the 2021 SXSW Pitch for Best in Show and Entertainment, Gaming, Content -- holoride just closed their $12M Series A round.
For the past four years, Kathleen also has been the Jury Chair and Keynote speaker for the AUREA Award, a dedicated conference focusing on excellence in immersive entertainment, hosted by Europa-Park, Europe’s largest themed attraction, second to Disneyland Paris.
Kathleen’s consultancy, the Collaboratorium focuses on XR research and client engagement utilizing immersive tech, AI/ML, XR and spatial computing projects as it relates to virtual beings/digital twins inside virtual worlds, themed attractions, location-based entertainment and other business verticals.
Her interest is the near future of man merging with machines. Kathleen and her team are building a Likeness & Legacy project for the “deathcare” industry. Her latest talks are: IRL vs. XR, The Future and Present Converge(s); a talk about teleportation, and Meet Your Digital Twin, a talk about the land rush to recreating humans.
Kathleen completed the first immersive artist-in-residence project at Surel’s Place in Boise, ID, working with the University of Idaho's, Virtual Technology & Design Research Lab, along with BlackBox VR on a collaborative object-oriented design product, learning from Indigenous Peoples Science and Neurodivergent principles.
Produced by Creatrix Arts, Inc.
Executive Producer Mikhaila Stettler
(All flower photography by Mikhaila Stettler, the visual source material for the project)