Raw INC: 4REAL X Teengirl Fantasy

Editor's note: Raw INC is a series focused on creative process, giving a behind-the-scenes glance at the inspiration, thinking, and challenges of new projects from the NEW INC community. 

Newly formed digital agency 4REAL, founded by musician/hacker Slava and artist Analisa Teachworth, made Teengirl Fantasy's Thermal EP online experience out of this world—four times. 

Launched in November 2014, thermal.global is an interactive online experience with four virtual worlds to accompany each track on TGF's new EP: “Cavescape,” “Lung” feat. Lafawnduh, “7:30 AM,” and “U touch me” feat. Hoody. 

Using WebGL, thermal.global invites users to explore and interact with four rich, dynamic 3-D worlds, effectively reimagining the experience of listening to music in the age of ephemeral albums.  4REAL spoke to us about the process.

“We are inspired by general developments in WebGL, as well as Sci-Fi and early computer games like Second Life. Heavy user control with elements of freedom and exploration are the most common threads we pull from gaming culture. The different aesthetic of each environment draws on a myriad of different cultural references, like Dan Flavin’s neons in “Cavescape” and David Lynch’s Lost Highway in “U Touch Me.”

“We wanted to really engage the user. In this particular environment, you’re cruising down a deserted California highway at dawn, in this slick sports car. And you’re passing wind turbines and billboards with music videos playing on them. Similar to a video game, you have full control of the car but also camera angles. So, you can really create your own unique experience while enjoying the music. 4REAL is interested in pushing the boundaries of art and technology but usually pushing boundaries is a big challenge when the technology has not caught up yet. It was particularly difficult with the mobile aspect of the site. Our biggest frustration was getting tweeted @ saying we can’t see this site on mobile. We now have the understanding that majority of people are viewing media via the phone vs. a desktop computer.