Thinking like a mountain
Sculpture with VR game
“Thinking like a mountain”, SPACE Ilford, London, UK, 2021-22; ‘Deep Play’, SPACE Ilford, London (UK), 2021
Dimensions: h.240 x w.220 x d.220 cm
Materials: polyester resin, stainless steel, galvanised steel, aluminium, rubber, PLA, VR headset, 11.6 inch screen
With support from the Arts Council and SPACE
Photo credits (1st iteration) Agnese Sanvito & (2nd iteration) Reinis Lismanis
A Virtual Reality game installation that invites an audience to virtually transform large rocks into smaller ones, pick up small rocks and balance them on top of one another to (re-)form larger rocks. The work was presented in two iterations; the first one operated as an exquisite corpse, each participant encountering the virtual environment as the last person had left it and the second one as a launch event for the game’s online publication, offering the audience to play the game using one of the several headsets made available. In both iterations the sculptural elements are functioning as three-dimensional manuals, giving indications on how to play the game and navigate the virtual world. They are composed of hollow fibreglass rocks, attached to a centre pole via bearings, so that the viewer can spin each component and discover engraved metal plates.
The work was developed during a residency at SPACE London in 2020 exploring the theme of deep play and the cost of our gamified experiences in reshaping human-environment relationships. Inspired by Horticultural Therapy, a range of treatment programmes which are designed to improve mental and physical well-being through the pursuit of outdoor activities, the video game seeks to ascribe some of its therapeutic qualities to the digital realm, exploring opportunities virtual environments can offer to create new rituals for humans to ‘connect’ with their external landscapes.