A random question for you because I think you might have an interesting perspective, what do you think about this idea of the “metaverse” or the future of the Internet? Are you excited about it? Are you dreading it?

I have a hard time tolerating a VR headset for more than 15 minutes, so it won’t be part of my reality until the physical interface is less clunky. For now, if I have the choice between a walk in the woods or being two hours in a virtual world it will be an easy choice for me.

I haven’t read that much about speculations around the metaverse so I’m really not knowledgeable but… as I mentioned, I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi and in particular William Gibson (father of the Cyberpunk genre). Neuromancer blew my mind (supposedly inspired The Matrix), and his Mona Lisa Overdrive / Peripheral / Agency books left deep prints of sensory depiction in my mind. I won’t talk about it too much but the way he creates deep sensory memories and empathy by seeing or feeling through someone or something else’s body vessel is quite unforgettable.

When I think of the metaverse I imagine beautiful worlds being created by amazing creative people, territories expanded with possibilities of technology. I also see people with power wanting to possess stuff/land to expand their estate. Worlds destroyed. Ruins of old worlds, people exploring those ruins… So you can tell that I don’t think the way we will behave in it will be so different from how we behave in real life, but I guess how we will perceive it and experience it might.
That would be amazing if the most honorable quality in the metaverse was to be a Super Empath, to be able to apprehend the mental or emotional state of other people. You could learn to become one by wearing someone’s virtual body vessel and by downloading its internet connectome map.

I’m excited and scared about it the same way as I am excited by young people who are more and more engaged in politics, social and environmental causes and are more and more tolerant with each other; and I’m also scared because what will happen in the coming years and in the future depends a lot on what we value in our leaders as a person. (Can you tell it’s late while I’m writing this?)

Yeah, it’s hard not to be both excited and scared about it. I usually end interviews asking these same two questions. What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?

Something about philosophy. Write another story with a friendship in it. Learn how to do line drawing in a 3D engine and mess up with textures.

Do something for/with kids. Continue to learn new things to continue doing art.

What about one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?
Do art that helps people.


Caroline Robert’s Website

Check out Brainstream over on the NFB website!


Brainstream Main credits

Written and directed by Caroline Robert.

In collaboration with Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit (code), Mathieu Charbonneau (sound and music), and Vincent Morisset (Production Manager and consultant to the Director).

Performed by Sophie Shields-Rivard (EN) and Julianne Côté (FR)

Created by the studio AATOAA

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada