Behind the Scenes With the Creators of Coachella's Antarctic Dome

Article by: emily ward|@_drawylime

Tue April 10, 2018 | 12:25 PM

Attendees merely seeking air-conditioned refuge got way more than they bargained for when they wandered into the Antarctic Dome at Coachella this year. At 120 feet high and covering 11,000 square feet, as of 2017, the structure clocked in as the largest geodesic projection dome ever created. And we have Obscura Digital to thank for it. In this newly-released video, we all get to go behind the scenes with the digital installation innovators as they chronicle their creative process.

Tapped by Coachella's Goldenvoice to create the piece, Obscura teamed up with dome manufacturer Pacific Domes and got to work. With the structural framework mapped out, Obscura's creative team worked for months to craft "Chrysalis," a stunning eight-minute audiovisual experience. With a goal to take people on "a metamorphic journey through time, space, and consciousness," the piece weaved high-intensity color and light through abstract patterns, desert landscapes, mountains and mind-bending fractals. Twenty-five channels of surround-sound audio added yet another sensory layer to the visuals as they whizzed around the 360-degree, projection-mapped galaxy. One particularly rad shot was of a floating astronaut in an homage to Poetic Kinetic's iconic astronaut installation (known as "Escape Velocity") from 2014. Gold-tinted helmet and all, the astronaut fell from the "sky" towards the blissed-out festies laying in five hundred concentrically arranged bean bag chairs.

2017 was not Obscura's first Coachella rodeo. The production company also built Lightweaver, an intricate light-mapped sculpture, in 2014. Joining Obscura's digital art team this year was festival artist and crowd favorite Android Jones , who brought his virtual reality short film MicrodoseVR , to the walls.

This article was originally published in May 2017.