Selected for Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival 2021, Johannesburg, SA

Director: Matthijs Vuijk
VR Experience/ Interactive Documentary
Duration: ~8 minutes
Medium: Oculus Quest 2, Unity

Three-dimensional scans form an assemblage of distant yet intimate encounters with friends/subjects.

This project revolves around the idea of creating an assemblage of my distant yet intimate encounters with my friends/subjects. I am very much interested in the spatial and temporal 'entanglements' which the medium of 3-dimensional scans seems to be flirting with. I think about the act of 'scanning' not only in technical and aesthetic terms but as a mode that perhaps might offer the granularity of that which is captured in a nuanced and multifaceted way. Combining interactive VR with a three-dimensional environment enables me to research this world/place/space in which my subjects' experiences collide under the guidance of my hand as an image-maker.

I have started developing this idea because I was in the situation of being ‘locked down abroad’ past year whilst I was studying at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. I missed my distant family and partner in The Netherlands and even with my close friends in South Africa physical meetups were not possible. Therefore I asked my friends/subjects if they could make scans of themselves and their environment with the smartphone application Display.land. Afterwards they could easily transfer these files to me, after which I could place all the scans in a 3-dimensional sandbox world in the Unity game engine, and was able to walk in my mothers house, and my girlfriends party with an Oculus Quest from 10.000 km distance.