Here is Beautiful: Postcards from Ireland – June, 2018

A 360° video experiment by Laura Zaylea
6 minutes / Monoscopic 360° video / 2018

An American woman sits on a beach in Ireland writing postcards. Her notes celebrate current events such as the historic “Repeal the 8th” vote legalizing abortion in Ireland (May 2018), the General Data Protection Regulation that proactively notifies her if and when her data is being shared (May 2018), the President’s formal apology for the criminalization of homosexuality (June 2018) and a current public media campaign promoting environmental consciousness (June/July 2018).

This is a 360° video: If your eyes stay on the postcard-writer, she is all you will see.

On the opposite side of the spherical video, however, her postcards are contrasted by upsetting news headlines from the United States. Most strikingly, the ease of crossing the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – without ever seeing a physical border or needing to show identification – is sharply contrasted by the chaotic implementation of “zero tolerance” policies at the U.S.-Mexico border and the inhumane separation of families. Other topics include social media scandals and privacy violations, and policy decisions that do not value the environment or LGBT identities.

Like a postcard, this project aims to capture a snapshot of a specific (political) moment – a recorded perception at a certain place at a certain time. Another goal of this project is to explore 360° video as a storytelling technology: Human eyes cannot physically take in all 360 degrees at once, and so perhaps the medium itself invites inquiry into themes of absence, contrast, information overload, multiple (conflicting) perspectives and even the ability – or impulse – to obscure, hide or ignore aspects of reality. The viewer must decide how best to experience this medium… and the information within it.

Watch the video here:

How to view:

  1. Using a smartphone or tablet device, go to to load the video. Hit “play” and the video should automatically open in your mobile web browser or in the YouTube mobile app.
  2. You can watch this in one of three ways:
    1. To view this video on your mobile phone without the Google Cardboard, just go ahead and hit play! Turn your phone to look around in any direction within the spherical video.
    2. To view this video in the Google Cardboard viewer, tap the “Google cardboard” icon: This will divide the screen into two smaller screens. Insert your phone into the viewer (provided at the exhibition). If using the YouTube mobile app, you can tap the “play” button with your right index finger. Please note that only regular (not plus) size smart phones will fit in these viewers.
    3. If you do not have a smartphone or tablet, you can load the webpage on a computer and use the mouse (or the navigation wheel in the top left corner of the screen) to access all viewing perspectives of the video.
  3. Enjoy!



University Film and Video Conference: New Media Gallery
Las Cruces, NM. July 25-26, 2018

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