THE INFINITE, the World’s Largest Multi-Sensory, In-Person VR Experience Makes U.S. Debut in Space City
EXPERIENCE TRANSPORTS VISITORS ON A MESMERIZING, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN JOURNEY INTO SPACE ONBOARD AND OUTSIDE THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
BASED ON FOOTAGE FROM EMMY-WINNING SPACE EXPLORERS: THE ISS EXPERIENCE BY FELIX & PAUL STUDIOS IN ASSOCIATION WITH TIME STUDIOS
THE INFINITE redefines the frontiers of the user experience by allowing visitors to roam freely inside a life-scale replica of the International Space Station, bringing audiences closer to the feeling of being in outer space than ever before.
THE INFINITE is an extension of the recent Primetime Emmy Award-winning immersive series, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, the largest production ever filmed in space, produced by Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME Studios. Shot over a period of nearly three years and producing more than 200 hours of high-end virtual reality footage, the four-part immersive series documents the life of
eight international astronauts inside — and outside — the International Space Station.
“The exploration of space and the unknown is an endless source of fascination to us. We are thrilled to bring THE INFINITE to Houston – the global epicenter of human space exploration – to share this massive, fully immersive exhibition, and we look forward to virtually transporting thousands of people off the Earth to enjoy the joy and wonder of space with audiences in the U.S. This unprecedented project is made possible thanks to our partners at NASA, the ISS National Lab, international space agencies and the incredible power of virtual reality,” said Félix Lajeunesse, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios and Creative Director of THE INFINITE.
“Houston was the natural destination as the first U.S. city to host THE INFINITE, not only because of the city’s deep ties to NASA, but also because of its richly diverse population that supports a wide range of cultural offerings from world-class art museums to unique traveling experiences such as ours,” emphasized Julie Tremblay, Producer of THE INFINITE.
This latest installation of THE INFINITE will include new footage from the first-ever cinematic spacewalk captured in 3D, 360° virtual reality shot outside the International Space Station on September 12, 2021, in addition to offering visitors a self-directed experience aboard the ISS itself. Throughout the 60-minute journey, visitors’ senses will be enriched through the interactivity between physical objects, virtual reality, multimedia art, soundscapes, light design, and even the subtle scents of a forest – evoking memories of stargazing while lying on the grass.
“THE INFINITE experience is unlike any other exhibition examining space. We took the approach to expansively underpin the visitor experience with exclusive content shot in virtual reality by Felix & Paul Studios aboard the ISS and did not center the exhibition around artifacts of space exploration. Using architectural design, free-roaming technology and commissioned artwork from Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda, we were inspired by humanity’s global fascination with space, integrating a poetic point of view of the astronauts. It was vital for us to transport the public to the particularities of life in space and [allow them to] feel their presence onboard and outside the ISS,” noted Phoebe Greenberg, PHI Studio Founder & Chief Creative Officer of THE INFINITE.
THE GRAND OPENING
One small step for Space City. One giant leap for THE INFINITE. On a picture perfect evening in Houston, THE INFINITE – the only multi-sensory, interactive virtual reality experience to transport visitors into orbit and onboard the International Space Station – formally lifted off for its American premiere. With a strong contingent of astronauts, NASA offiicials, city leaders, artists, philathropists, and would-be space explorers turning out in full force at Silver Street Studios, guests made their way past the blue carpet and directly to multiple bar stations to prime themselves with liquid courage before making the virtual voyage into space and aboard the ISS.
The evening was characterized by awe-inspiring wonder for the traveling immersive exhibit’s U.S. debut, made all the more exciting by a star-studded guest list that included top NASA officials alongside a bevy of real life space explorers. Resident Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Anne McClain – both of whom appear in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning series on which THE INFINITE is based, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience – mingled with guests and gave emotional tributes to THE INFINITE experience before guests embarked on their own hour-long self-guided journeys into orbit and aboard the ISS.
Koch was one of two women to participate in the first all-female spacewalk outside of the International Space Station, and McClain went up on Expedition 58/59 to the ISS – an experience that earned her a coved spot in NASA’s Artemis program that will return astronauts to the moon by 2025.
“The first time I ever put on the Oculus headset, I had to turn it off; that’s how real it was. When we answer humanity’s call to explore as astronauts, the most important thing we do is bring our experience back to you, and that’s what this project is about,” said an emotional Koch during her remarks. She continued, “Many people think when we explore space, we’re doing it to learn about where we’re going. We’re not. We’re actually doing it to learn about ourselves and the place we left. And that’s what THE INFINITE does.”
“THE INFINITE has only been in Houston for a few short weeks, and we have already been overwhelmed by the response from visitors,” emphasized Éric Albert, co-CEO of INFINITY EXPERIENCES, the joint venture that brought THE INFINITE to life. He added, “This evening is a testament to the years of hard work that so many dedicated and passionate scientists and artists have collectively poured into making THE INFINITE a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Seeing people’s emotions as they come out and hearing first-hand what they felt during their experience is what this is all about for us. Tonight we have been witness to the human spirit on full display.”
Tickets to THE INFINITE’s primary Houston run (starting at $36 per person) through February 20 are currently on sale.
For more information on THE INFINITE and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://theinfinitehouston.com.
Grand opening photos: Daniel Ortiz; The Infinite Photos: V. Sweeten