Water Without Wet (WWW) is an interactive installation featuring custom software, a VR headset, and generative videos based on the VR user’s actions.
The installation is a poetic invitation to contemplate your bodily connection to the water cycle, and the challenges of reconciling the individual and ecosystem, action and impact.
Editioned prints generated from the videos, .gifs, and the VR software are available for purchase via bitforms gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org
In WWW there are two audiences: the headset user and the spectators. The user is immersed in the virtual world, simulating interactions with water - drinking a glass, flushing a toilet, watering a plant. The user is directly instructed to do complete actions (via voice and text) creating a rhythmic pattern. Over the course of 6 minutes, there's also a cycle of rain, the tide rising, the sun and moon rising.
The core of this project leverages the tension of the user being at once immersed in the virtual world while also understanding that they affect a larger whole, though unable to predict exactly how. As the user continues the (mostly mundane) tasks - the world becomes more abstract: the written instructions begin to differ slightly from the spoken ones, actions you take ("you order an item") affect imagery in other vignettes.
The spectators see the virtual world rendered on two exterior canvases. These canvases depict the world from two fixed 3rd person perspectives, creating ever shifting compositions at various levels of abstraction. As a spectator, you might see: the user's motions rendered as a cloudy force, or only the consequences of an action, or the world rendered in different ways (feedback, slitscan, objects replaced with other objects), or at scales so vast that the user is barely (if at all) visible.
Water connects us to each other, to other animals, to the earth and atmosphere. It’s atemporal, and not fixed in space. It might be inside of my body, then yours, then in the sky, then the ocean, then back around. It's both the best metaphor for fluidity, interconnectedness, boundlessness, and not a metaphor at all: just the best example.
WWW draws on the similarities between technology, water, and the human body through an emphasis on all entities as invisible webs of globally tansitory materials.
From The Second Body: "What does a pigeon look like from space? The answer is obviously nothing."