Enactive VR research project “The State of Darkness”

In the VR-mediated experience of the State of Darkness the participant will meet face-to-face with a humanlike artificial character in immersive narrative context.

Human mind and culture rely on narratives people live by every day, narratives they tell to one another, narratives that allow them to learn from others, for instance, in movies, books, or social media. Yet, the State of Darkness connects the notion of non-human narratives to the stories experienced by our virtual character, Adam B. Trained by an exhaustive range of human facial repertoire, Adam B has gained access to control his facial expressions when encountering with humans.

Our concept builds on the idea of a symbiotic interactive co-presence of a human and non-human. Adam B will be experiencing his own non-human narrative that draws to some extent from the behavior of the participant, yet driven mainly by Adam B’s own life story hidden from the participant, emerging within the complexity of Adam B’s algorithmic mind. The State of Darkness is an art installation where human and non-human narratives coexist, the first experienced and lived-by our participant and the latter experienced by our artificial character Adam B, as they meet face-to-face, embedded in the narrative world of the State of Darkness.

Team: Idea, Concept, Director Pia Tikka; Script & Dramaturgical  supervision Eeva R Tikka; Enactive Character design and production pipeline design Victor Pardinho; Enactive Scenography Tanja Bastamow; Soundscape Can Uzer; Technical 3D Artist Maija Paavola; VR audiovisual spatialization consultation Iga Zatorska; Symbiotic Creativity Ilkka Kosunen; Machine learning and Unreal Engine consultation Paul Wagner; Unreal engine consultation Tuomas Karmakallio; and others.

Team funding: Finnish Cultural Foundation Huhtamäki Fund; Aalto Studios’s Virtual Cinema Lab; Digidemo Promotion Center of Audiovisual Culture (Oblomovies Oy); Tikka & Kosunen: EU Mobilitas Pluss Top Researcher Grant (2017-2022), Estonian Research Council & Tallinn University.

For more information, contact: piatikka@tlu.ee

Scheduled premier: The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling ICIDS 2018 5-8 December 2018, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The State of Darkness VR-installation has been proposed to the ICIDS 2018 Art Exhibition, a platform for artists to explore digital media for interactive storytelling from the perspective of a particular curatorial theme: Non- Human Narratives. See https://icids2018.scss.tcd.ie