A multi-sensory augmented reality documentary inspired by Icelandic folklore redefining our relationship with nature in an era of climate change.
Ancient stories have renewed relevance as we face the consequences of climate change.
Up until the 19th century, humans had an intimate relationship with nature, and folklore played a central role in maintaining that connection. But the further we've got from folklore, the more we started to accept destroying our environment.
Iceland, however, shows a different exampl e wher e the folklor e tradition is still alive and actively sparks environmental actions to protect its magical landscapes from harm.
Could Icelandic folklore become a method for all of us to reconnect with the nature around us?
Kvöldvaka, or Night Wakings, hails back to early days of human habitation in Iceland.
Storytellers travelled from home to home spinning tales for Icelandic families as they rested from a long day of work in the inhospitable terrain.
The Night Wakings were how traditions and understanding of the natural world were passed on.
Using Mobile AR, the participant will be guided through an interactive journey to open their third eye where they must move around, listen and contemplate in order to see the nature spirits surrounding them.
The participant, through a series of playful interactions, meets Sigurður the Huldufólk –– or at least hears him because the participant’s third eye is not yet open. Sigurður helps the participant see that there is an intended balance with nature and a living energy embedded in all things. In a specific scene, Sigurður shows the participant a magical rock through augmented reality. He has the participant notice the intricate details of the colored moss growing on the rocks and then reveals that this is where his family lives –– there is life and energy in all parts of nature.
Through subsequent scenes and exercises, the participant becomes worthy to see the Huldufólk dimension by becoming someone who hears, sees and feels nature. Their third eye becomes opened and now can see the Huldufólk as holograms all around them.
Kvöldvaka does not deny that we live in the 21st century, but rather emphasizes that technology can be used to reconnect with what has been lost –– our human connection to the living earth all around us.
Khora VR // Denmark
Khora is a leading Scandinavian Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) production studio, creating cutting edge content within multiple application areas.
Edge of Discovery // USA
Edge of Discovery is a media arts initiative to discover and amplify voices and stories that are being silenced, simplified and minimized.
University of Iceland // Iceland
Iceland’s oldest and largest institution of higher education.