Unicorn

Unicorn

Year: 2014
Oculus Rift, Xbox Controller

There is an interesting correlation between viewers and the viewed. What happens when the viewer unknowingly becomes the viewed? What does it feel like to be viewed as a subject? In this project, a participant wears an Oculus Rift (VR headset) and noise-cancelling earphones, while using head movement and a joystick to navigate an immersive environment that I have created. The participant is transported into a fantastical, digital world in which they will inadvertently be seen as a performing subject to outside viewers watching a projected, mirrored screen of the Oculus display. In this vibrantly colored world filled with unicorns, horses, and teddy bears, it is easy to want to jump in without realizing the consequences. What seems happy and playful at first ends up being shocking and dreadful after an extended period of time (15+ minutes). But before the participant wants to commit suicide in-game, they will naturally explore the starting area and discover oddities with the way the world is set up. There are also several trigger boxes that will inform the participant to “…NOT follow the rainbow”. If they decide to disobey and reach the other end of the rainbow, they are forced to listen to a fifteen-minute loop of the nyan cat song. Eventually, they can find nyan cat at the other end.