Selected Media coverage
Links to articles covering my work. Have I missed one? Please contact me.
2019/3/26 The Guardian: Acid test: how psychedelic virtual reality can help end society's mass bad trip
So tonight there’s the opportunity to try out virtual reality and augmented reality experiences that go beyond recreational use – there’s no diving with sharks or rollercoaster rides here. But users should strap in tightly anyway: these experiences are designed to expedite a different kind of journey.
Among those technologies to try in the Brunswick warehouse are Crystal Vibes, which induces a kind of synaesthesia by using music to shape a visual journey;
2018/5/31 Techspot: Liquid crystals under a microscope are like a trip to the 60s
The images are beautiful, and many look like they were taken straight from a Mandelbrot Set.
The video is mesmerizing.
2018/5/31 digital trends: Watching liquid crystals undulate under a microscope will melt your brain
"They are especially beautiful when they undergo phase transitions, where what you are seeing is the rapid self-assembly of matter between different flowing structures: a process that is reflected in the cells of every living organism since the origin of life."
The whole experience resembles the nerdiest acid trip since Steve Jobs took LSD.
2018/5/29 Vice: Watch This Trippy Footage of Liquid Crystals Under a Microscope
Musician Max Cooper set his new song “Music of the Tides” to footage of morphing, pulsating liquid crystals moving through phases, called mesophases. The result is a psychedelic trip, without the drugs.
The footage was taken by researcher Ben Outram at Oxford and Leeds Universities, and edited by Jennifer Tividad. Outram explains in the video’s description that here, what you’re seeing are the “flowing forms and transitions that liquid crystals undergo as they flow and undergo transitions between phases.”
2017/2/14 Japan society for the promotion of science: Science Dialogue Lecture at Nara Prefectural Seisho High School
Benjamin Outram is employing expertise from his background in physics and Oxford PhD in liquid crystal science to explore new possibilities in the space between the human mind and our mediated worlds, with a focus on inducing transformative states of consciousness. His virtual reality work has been showcased at Sundance Film Festival, Siggraph, Dubai International Film Festival, E3, and Tokyo Game Show.
Virtual reality standouts at Sundance include the Synesthesia Suit, a full-body exoskeleton-style suit with 26 sensors to provide as much sensation as possible while playing the video game “Rez Infinite” or experiencing the psychedelic sounds of “Crystal Vibes.”
“'Haptic technology came from motion-tracking development for Nintendo gaming systems,' Outram says. “My goal with Crystal Vibes and other haptic projects is about changing our perspectives in life…Can new media technologies help us transcend to something better than ourselves?'"
"In some cases, the technology presented at the festival leapfrogs the movies fictionalizing it. 'Synesthesia Suit: Rez Infinite and Crystal Vibes,' a Japanese VR experience, puts viewers in a full-body, 26-sensor get-up that combines audiovisual effects and tactile vibrations."
"For a less frenetic but wildly psychedelic introduction to virtual synesthesia, Dr. Benjamin Outran [sic] designed Crystal Vibes. Colored orbs of every color sprawl out in all directions, like the The Matrix’s 'guns, lots of guns' construct scene mixed with the Yellow Submarine and a sizable dose of acid. You can squeeze and bat around jello bubbles that satisfyingly ripple through your suit."
"When radio came along, and television, and the internet, no one really knew or could predict how they were going to affect every aspect of society," Ben Outram, creator of Sound World, an interactive psychedelic world of geodesic shapes and music (see image, top of post), told Mashable. "I think VR is one of those — we’re in this stage now where no one really knows what it’s doing. But it represents a whole new level of an ability to communicate, an ability to empathize, there’s more information being sent, there’s more levels and channels of sensory perception and we can expect a whole multitude of ways that I think is going to change society just as much as the internet has."
The experience itself felt like I was traveling through a psychedelic kaleidoscope.
So. Crazy. So. Cool.
I’ve used a lot of VR, but can’t recall having such a transcendent experience since the first time I tried roomscale VR.
There's a huge saturation of mobiles, there are billions (of dollars) being made in mobile gaming ... and Nintendo has realized that," said Benjamin Outram, a researcher at Keio University, who was demonstrating virtual reality goggles and a vibrating digital immersion suit at the Tokyo event. "Nintendo is an entertainment company so will go in whatever direction they can entertain.