Aaron Oldenburg: Desert Mothers

  • ©, Aaron Oldenburg, Desert Mothers


    Desert Mothers




    Desktop Virtual Reality (VR) devices, or non-VR systems with monitors and Xbox controllers.

Artist Statement:

    This is a meditative, multiplayer networked experience. Players begin in the same procedurally-generated environment. This begins to diverge for each player as their personal environment, composed of individualized weather and hallucinations, responds emotionally to the player’s actions. The constraints within which the players interact are discovered during play, and revolve around the body, simulated breath, drawing in the air, and out-of-body exploration of flora, fauna, and abandoned human habitations.

    In an exhibition space, participants sit on cushions on the floor facing each other, or they participate from their computers at home. They use either desktop Virtual Reality (VR) devices, or non-VR systems with monitors and Xbox controllers. In the game world, they are also sitting, either looking out across the desert at one another or lost in an exploration from the perspective of an environmental object. They see one another’s drawings and any two players are rewarded for returning each other’s gazes.

    This is a multiplayer game where players can discover ways to communicate and interact over the network, but the individualized environmental behavior pushes the experience inward. The game has its inspiration in group psychedelic and meditative experiences, such as Ayahuasca ceremonies. Although it is ostensibly a group experience, it is intensely personalized.





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