October 11, 2016
“Is it real?” you will ask yourself and you will attempt to discover the truth as if such a thing can be sought and found.
Even the set-up is slightly sinister, like walking in on a Kafka novel. A shipping container parked at the edge of the Hastings mall and strangers quietly luring you over, ushering you in to some plywood, bureaucratic-looking cubicles, shutting the door. You’re hooked up to gadgets (a headset designed for 3-D gaming, headphones) by a lovely lady sitting across from you who smiles, tells you on no account to leave your seat. And thus the 12-minute multi-sensory, interactive, mind-blowing experience begins.
It’s surreal, like entering a Dali painting. It’s virtual but somatic: your feet will tingle with all the bodily sensation of vertiginous height, your belly drop with the speeding shaft of shifting dimensions, and as you move your head your perspective will alter accordingly. It’s an unsettling encounter with the absent and the tangible, with the probabilities of reality itself. It’s metaphysical and intrigue-provoking with moments of exhilarating beauty. And when you come blinking out into the light, with your cache of clues and questions, you will feel compelled to take this further.
Created by Simon Wilkinson of CiRCA69 in the UK, The Cube is based on the story of a mysterious mass disappearance in the Idaho desert of the 1950s. But what is true and is it real? Can Google really help you?
The Cube is near the Hastings Clock Tower until Sunday 16 October, and can be visited from 10am-8pm daily. Entry is free.