“The atmosphere is a co-creation of all breathing beings, you don’t exist except in relationship to everything else. The trees, mycelium, bacteria, pollinators, rivers, oceans are as much a part of you as your own branching body.” —Barnaby Churchill Steel, Marshmallow Laser Feast
Evolver is a collective virtual reality experience that drops audiences deep inside the landscape of the body, following the flow of oxygen through humans' branching ecosystem to a single "breathing" cell. Through this narrative it becomes clear that breath not only sparks life but connects us to the natural world through the cycle of respiration.
Directed by Marshmallow Laser Feast and executive-produced by Cate Blanchett, Terrence Malick and veteran producer Edward R. Pressman, the film is narrated by Blanchett and features an original score by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. The visuals are based on medical research and state-of-the-art human body scanning.
Marshmallow Laser Feast is a London-based experiential studio working at the intersection of art, science and technology, a space that provides inspirations for projects that can come in the form of light shows, concerts, commercials, immersive installations and film.
Terrence Malick, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker, first worked with producer Edward R. Pressman on the 1973 film Badlands. Malick's first feature, it established him as a major figure in the New Hollywood, the movement that was typified by Warren Beatty's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and the Peter Fonda-Dennis Hopper film Easy Rider (1969). Cate Blanchett had previously worked with Malick on Knight of Cups (2015) and the cosmic documentary Voyage of Time (2016).
"Stepping through a blacked-out revolving door in Manhattan’s Financial District and into Evolver, a virtual reality exhibit about human breath, the audience is confronted by a dark concrete room. There’s an eerie, amplified natural soundscape of babbling brooks and passing storms and enormous backlit pictures that feel familiar, but with closer scrutiny prove ineffable. An indistinct image could be a Hubble telescope capture of the stars or maybe a tree’s underground roots, or even a network of human capillaries, magnified to a scale that renders the mundane fact of circulation alarming. This is, of course, the point." —The Independent