Who among us remembers ye olde days of spacing out in front of the computer, listening to your favorite music in headphones while WinAmp visualizers morphed and moved through digital space? One could stare at that screen for hours, but imagine if you could take that concept and thrust it into the cutting-edge of 2019 technology a fused it with the enveloping sounds of a modern-day dream-weaving act — Australian electronic trio Rüfüs Du Sol, for instance.
Take that idea, expand the screen into a 11,000-square foot projection dome, and you’ve got the reality of HP’s heat-beating Coachella activation. For the third year in a row, HP brings its massive Antarctic Dome to the India Valley, immersing festival attendees in an air-conditioned escape that offers a truly mind-bending music video for Rüfüs Du Sol’s fan-favorite “Underwater.” The 360-experience will play about every 15 minutes throughout both Coachella weekends.
Directed by award-winning music video directer James Frost, the video tells an abstract story of emotional human resilience in five stunning segments. Frost — who’s worked with Coldplay, Radiohead, OK Go and others — wrote a treatment for the song and handed that treatment over to five visual artists for interpretation. Harrison Vincent, Joey Camacho, Joyce Ho, Nicolas Arnold and Ryan Hawthrone crafted colorful scenes of interstellar travel, sub-atomic masses and ethereal liquid designs that crash and grow in crisp detail above the viewers head.
If you stare just right at the middle of the presentation, you’ll feel yourself moving through space and time, losing sense of spacial reaity while safely sitting or lying on the dome floor. All the while, “Underwater” blasts through the room, helping to create the sense of surreal wonder. The band even wrote a special intro segment inspired by whale songs to give the room extra weighty mood.
When you’re done watching the presentation, you can check out HP’s other tech activations, including a vibrant, drippy space called “Dreamland” where attendees can design their own trippy tote bags, take moving photos in a psychedelic VR space, or interact with a motion-reactive wall called the “Affirmation Wall.” The 360-degree “Underwater” presentation will play about every 15 minutes throughout both Coachella weekends, and it’s sure to be one of the most surreal experiences at the festival. Check a teaser clip of the video and some footage from the band’s DJ set after the official premiere below, and be sure to catch Rüfüs Du Sol’s Coachella performance Fridays, April 12 and 19, at 8:50 pm at the Outdoor Theatre.
So. The immersive, 360 video for @rufusdusol’s “Underwater” at the @hp Antarctic Dome @coachella is definitely the trippiest thing I’ve yet witnessed. These are clips of the guys’ DJ set after a panel I moderated last night. I’m 100 percent going back to see this again, hahahaha. Who’s coming with me?! S/O director James Frost and the five amazing visual artists who put this together.