Floating Island (2015)
K.Mee Kim, Timothy Wang
Material -Oculus Rift
This project is a short experience for viewers in a fictional environment.
We were interested in making a piece that would surprise viewers with virtual characters and scenery.
We began modeling, rigging, texturing, and mapping several animals
(frogs, jellyfish, snakes-Frog, Spider models pictures from Turbosquid. )
that would make people feel uncomfortable. This led to us wanting to digitally recreate our fears.
There would be a sort of feeling of uncanniness since we were trying to
create models that were realistic and graphics intensive. We wanted a good mix of things that would be scary for people.
Our audience would be diverse, so not everything we made was going to startle them.
I think we found a good, balanced solution for both of these issues.
Technologies we used to create our piece are still in development themselves. They
include the Oculus Rift VR headset, Microsoft Kinect v2 IR/CMOS sensor, and Unreal Game
Engine. Research and inspiration came from popular culture, movies, video games, and virtual
worlds that have been explored in the past. One art experiment that spoke to us was “Becoming
Dragon,” by Micha Cárdenas. In her work, she spent time in a virtual world called Second Life
with a dragon as her avatar. We enjoyed the fact that a virtual reality project could be immersive
and at the same time cross so many borders of transformation between sexuality, physicality,
phenomenology, and more.