How can we take a break and be in the moment in times of mandatory confinement?
Places of worship have always been one of the go-to places to find silence in an urban environment. No matter their belief, they have always encapsulated a moment in which humans heal themselves, find peace, and receive forgiveness. Now, these quiet places were not bound to religious establishments. They were outside in the streets and everywhere. Deserted parks, lone statues, and desolated entertainment centers became ponds of serenity and mystery that seemed to defy time itself.
Our challenge was to immortalize these places and bring them to the people who needed it the most in these difficult times. We wanted to leave a testimony of this time in history for the future. This is the brew that created the Empty Vienna 360 video experience.
Empty Vienna is a meditative 360 video experience created to liberate the mind from confinement. This get-away experience transported viewers to three of Vienna’s busiest landmarks turned into quiet islands of peace during the first COVID-19 lockdown: St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Stadtpark, and the Prater amusement park.
In this 360 video, we wanted people to take all the time they needed to be in a place and simply do nothing. We wanted viewers to get lost in the small but meaningful details, such as the distant steps of a lone passerby or the euphoric chirp of a flock of birds. It highlighted the layer of action that emerges to the surface when nothing intentional seems to take place. Mostly, it reminded viewers that self-observation and calm could bring unimaginable transformation.
Empty Vienna was also an opportunity we created for virtual tourism. The possibility of an empty city center of Vienna was impossible in previous contexts. We wanted to bring virtual tourists to an authentic experience in a major European capital with no one around but themselves and their thoughts.
Empty Vienna caught the attention of a prestigious international audience. The Laval Virtual VR conference invited us to be speakers and present the project as part of their official 2020 program.