Wooded Solitude

Technical Details
Title: My Waldeinsamkeit| Format: Unity Player | Creation: Unity, Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop | Installation: On-site at the Light Lab, UCSC | Date: Fall 2015

“Waldeinsamkeit” is a German word that roughly translates to “wooded solitude.” Some translations seem to conjure images of oneness with nature, wonderment, peace and spiritual wholeness. Others offer a sense of the unknown; fear, paranoia, and lurking danger. This project explores the tension between these seemingly opposed definitions by using a forest to personify of solitude within a virtual three-dimensional space.

“My Waldeinsamkeit” is a single player game in which players take the role of shape shifter who can wander the forest at will. Some forms offer destructive effects, others creative. The forest responds visually to the players actions, reacting to whatever form they have chosen for the time being. Through gameplay, the artist attempts to reinforce the idea that we have the power to shape our own internal space through moments of solitude, which in turn allows us to change ourselves and the real space around us. We experience both peace and turmoil within “Waldeinsamkeit,” a sublime internal tension that grants us the ability to impart meaning unto an impartial external reality.

The game was installed in an immersive room using 4-projector and multi-stereo sound for The University of Santa Cruz’s Open Studio, Fall 2015. It is played with a custom keyboard and mouse set up.


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