Kiriko

by a_team

Project statement

 

Kiriko will be a user-based simulation and installation illustrating our relationship for the environment. The piece will primarily be experienced through the use of a VR headset where the user will passively observe the environment as it changes over time. The change will occur through another participant who will affect the VR environment using a tangible interface, meaning that they will not experience the VR simulation itself.

The installation requires 2 participants (VR participant, tangible interface participant). The idea of having someone affect an environment without directly experiencing the changes is a core premise that we are exploring. Everyday abstracted tasks make us complicit in our impact on the ecosystem. We all send emails, texts and work on machines that consume electricity without paying any mind to where it’s coming from. Yet, the reason why we pay no mind to it is because our relationship with the environment has been abstracted to us through recent technological innovations. This installation aims at representing that abstraction by having one participant interact with a tangible interface that can adversely influence the simulation experienced by the other participant.

Kiriko is the land of all things fragile, manifested as both a digital and physical representation of our temporal environment. The title of the project shares its name with a special type of Japanese glass, known for its thin and intricately cut layers and repetitive patterns.

In detail

 

Kiriko aims to explore the duality between producer and consumer, as well as to comment on the damage human interference has inflicted onto nature. Particularly, Kiriko seeks to define our current relationship with the environment as one of overconsumption.

Within the anthropocene, there is a cycle that permeates our existence in the way we treat our surroundings. Contemporary environmentalists and activists discuss fossil fuels as needing to be eradicated and replaced. Yet, they ignore the reality that most of our infrastructure cannot be separated from these old energy sources. Our relationship with these fuels is inherently more complex. Humans have constructed a world where the consumption of the land is exponentially greater than its ability to heal. We have entangled ourselves in a destructive dance between affordability and sustainability, and as a result, many believe overconsumption is a necessity for continued growth.

Installation Layout

  • Player 1 : stands in front of the monitor and triggers input commands.
  • Player 2 : VR headset wearer, experiences modifications from player 1 in real-time.
  • Observers/spectators : can view projection of VR headset wearer from their perspective.

Component Needed

Kiriko will consist of many varied parts that will need to be carefully orchestrated. The main components of our project include:

  • VR headset. 
  • Player 1’s pedestal made out of wood.
  • The custom keyboard made out of plexiglass and will include conductive vinyl, circuit components and an arduino.
  • A monitor for Player 1.
  • A projector to see player 2’s interaction.
  • A sound system.