Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness

2018

Credits:

• Immersive Environment, Programming - Zach Duer
• Typographical Visualization - Meaghan Dee
• Music - Ico Bukvic

Publications:

• International Conference for Auditory Display 2019, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, June 23, 2019
• Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities National Conference, Athens, GA, November 1, 2018
• New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Moss Arts Center Cube, Blacksburg, VA, June 3-6, 2018

Sponsored by:

Forgetfulness is a multimedia, immersive, interactive, virtual reality experience that transports the audience into a meditative and introspective space where a poem about Alzheimer’s disease is set as text onto a mobius strip. The poem vividly portrays the fragmented experiences of an anonymous woman affected by the disease. The lines of the poem elide into each other without clear delineations as each thought, intention, and action loses track of its beginning and fades into the next. The text gently undulates across the mobius strip, coming in and out of focus, fading from and reentering existence. The audience freely explores the space to encounter the poem non-linearly, initially unsure of the direction or nature of the disjointed narrative and piecing together the context as they read.

Less

More 

A spatial audio atmosphere weaves together a soundscape of deep pulsing tones, echoing drops, and sweet, rippling chords that transform as the audience moves through the virtual environment. The soundtrack changes and evolves depending upon the listener’s specific location and is further enriched by complementing aural layers that are triggered by a combination of the user’s proximity to specific words/places in the poem and statistical chance. Some of these offer up to several minutes of unique content in and of themselves, encouraging listeners to stop and reflect on certain thoughts expressed by the poem.

As the audience moves through the virtual space, they leave behind a nebulous cloud that forms the trail of their path. The cloud’s color fluctuates in response to the heart rate and galvanic skin response of the audience, as tracked by a worn wristwatch. The audience’s emotional response to the work strings along behind them, brightening in places of surprise or excitement. This response lingers in the space to be visible to the next audience participants, but is also ephemeral and fades over time as the virtual environment forgets its previous inhabitants.

The poem by Denise Duhamel, titled “Mobius Strip: Forgetfulness,” was originally published in print media, with instructions to photocopy the poem, cut it out, fold it into a mobius strip, and tape the ends together. Through the use of virtual reality, Forgetfulness enables the audience to explore the setting of the poem on the mobius strip at human scale. Stepping through the poem, the audience is immersed on all sides by the text. Reading the poem becomes an embodied experience, as the audience crouches, leans, and peers above them to negotiate the text.

Video trailer

|

|

|

Documentation of immersive environment

|
|

|

|
|

|

|
|

|

Previous
Next