MEMESIS – an experimental VR experience on the border of game and movie
Memesis (dir. Marta Giec) is an experimental VR experience on the border of game and movie made in CGI. Project involves the creation of the first part, which would be approximately 7 minutes long and constitute a kind of “demo”, an invitation to a further story, combining a surreal vision with a horror film. The project is co-produced with the Visual Narratives Laboratory.
Memesis aim is to function in a double mode. On the one hand, as an adventure in the VR environment, in which the user has to move further into the world in order to move the action forward. On the other hand, it is supposed to be a realization of surprising clashes and cultural references. The convention of mystery and horror is loosely connected to the theme of the Holocaust through discrete symbolic and visual references. Memesis is supposed to be a new form of working through trauma and breaking with national myths and identity. The aforementioned horror will be enriched in the later parts of the memetic adventure with various references to the newest post-internet culture, such as memes or the shanzhai culture. Intertextual references and references to contemporary art and culture are to be a “bonus” treat for the conscious recipient.
The overriding goal of Memesis is to create an alternative, artificial reality in a 360° world, where the formal procedures characteristic for VR will fit the narration in such compatible way that they produce highly immersive experience in which the user will move in waves from a feeling of calm to horror and uncertainty. Additionally, the immersion will benefit from experimental treatments enhancing the VR experience, such as eye adaptation, video projection in the user immobilization mode (video plain), abstract textures created with analog video synthesizer and captured into digital environment, as well as triggers.
The beginning of the adventure with Memesis is a desert submerged in darkness, containing a path that leads the user into an everchanging landscape. There are dead trees, dilapidated objects, ruins and most of all, an abandoned allotment with a garden. The immersion into the mysterious, empty world begins to give way to the feeling of dread when the user starts to hear moans and cries of pain. The sound comes from under his feet. The meme-faced mud suffers.
Better for the user to choose the path on which he doesn’t cause any suffering – then he’ll arrive to a wooden house with a sukkah. In its abandoned interior, not succumbing to fear and following the directions, he’ll meet a guide, the anthropomorphic Challah. She’ll guide him to the stove, where a surprise awaits the user as well an invitation to the second chapter of this surreal adventure.