|2019||Adam Loften,David George Haskell,Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee|
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“We had to visualize, in advance, exactly what our audience member will be able to experience as a person, while at the same time, put them in the perspective of something that’s non-human. That’s not necessarily just the tree, but also the air, spirit and energy of the forest system, and how the audience member can experience that perspective.”
Adam Loften, co-director, to Shockya
The Atomic Tree is a 10-minute virtual reality journey into the memories of a 400-year-old Japanese White Pine bonsai tree, known as the Yamaki tree, that survived and witnessed the nuclear blast in Hiroshima. This VR experience explores the chain of stories across time and geographic space, held together by the delicate shape of its leaves and rings of its wood. The Atomic Tree takes you through Japan’s ancient cedar forests, a sacred Buddhist monastery, the Yamaki home in Hiroshima, and the botanical garden in D.C. from which it now stands to invite reflection on the interconnectedness of worlds experienced by this sacred bonsai tree. Etched in its rings is a story of both survival and renewal,
The Atomic Tree is made by a stereoscopic 360 videos collected at multiple locations, which are weaved together by animations. Directed by Adam Loften and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, The Atomic Tree uses this experimentation with more traditional documentary footage as well as 3D animations to create a kinship between the user and the tree, the human and non-human.