The Rocks VR 2016

The Rocks Virtual Reality project draws on the late 19Cth and early 20Cth – an era of spectacular innovations in leisure technologies, ways of seeing and experiments in immersive environments, to produce a stereoscopic virtual reality view of the Rocks in 1901 – a souvenir for contemporary visitors, capturing the wonder of nascent modes of seeing that reference the novel audience experiences of the 19Cth. The tour uses rare archival material including original photographs taken in 1901 by NSW Government photographer John Degotardi. These images documented what were then considered some of the more run-down parts of Sydney, prior to their proposed demolition after the outbreak of the bubonic plague. The photographs, brought to life through the magic of virtual reality and the historical aesthetic of colour-tinting, offer a wonderful insight into life in The Rocks a century ago—a time when domestic life was not confined behind closed doors, washing was strung up to flap between buildings, animals roamed the streets and scores of barefoot children played on the dusty roads.