This piece is a Virtual Reality (VR) adaptation of the novel Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. This project was directed by Graham Sack and and produced by The New York Times VR, Plympton, Sensorium and Graham Sack in 2017. Originally, you could access this via the NYTVR application, but now it can be accessed via YouTube. You can view this piece as an internet-enabled video, or by using a smart phone and VR viewer, such as a Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, or Oculus Quest. Additionally, you can access this experience through a more sophisticated tethered VR headset, such as an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. When accessing the piece through a VR viewer, you can move around in the space by physically moving or through teleportation using handheld controllers.
In this application you are immersed in a cemetery surrounded by ghosts who tell you their stories, culminating in an encounter with Abraham Lincoln as he speaks to the corpse of his dead 11- year old son in the crypt.This 10-minute scene reimagines the novel in 360 degrees, with evocative use of sound and light direction to guide the viewer through the 3D space. The novel is particularly well-suited for this medium, because the non-linear structure of the text is composed of dialogue drawn from archival sources and fictional imaginings in what can be a difficult to follow stream. In VR, the viewer can hear the voice of each character individually, or interspersed with others as you move into their virtual space.