VOID is, at its heart, meditative, abstract web art–a series of scenes filled with fluid animations, fractal wireframe structures, and lots of ethereal things that glow.
What makes VOID notable is that it’s very well-done. In terms of programming, the site is technically adept, flying the user through WebGL environments on a smooth dolly and providing immersive, positional audio along the way. Even on my aging laptop, it runs smoothly.
But it’s also a good example of how a digital experience that’s built from a lot of precanned animations–some that go as long as 30 seconds–can actually feel interactive. In one instance, you sit on the edge of a black hole. Then hold down your spacebar, and an animation plays, taking you into the abyss. Release the spacebar before the animation finishes, and the whole thing rewinds, pulling you out of the hole. Much like Snapchat’s hold-to-view, it forces the user to take an active part in his content consumption.
That sets up users to engage with interactive scenes to come, scrolling their mouse and clicking buttons to see what might happen next, rather than just sitting back and allowing a glorified movie to play. Some effects are precanned. Others are actually dynamic explorations of 3-D fractals. Ultimately, it melds into one amorphous, quasi-touchable visual moment, and VOID’s statement feels akin to the last act of 2001: A Space Odyssey: A journey into a black hole becomes the ultimate trip.