ImproVive has always been interested in exploring embodiment and identity in VR. With Shuffles and Seeds our goal is to explore how people perceive identity as the boundaries of an avatar’s embodiment blurs during a process of construction and deconstruction. We also want to explore how much can still identify with an avatar as we blend multiple memories of your previous movements over time, when does your feeling of identification change? What happens when the memories of multiple people are mixed, at what point do you disconnect?
Shuffles and Seeds confronts people with the temporality of our existence. It questions what leads to self-identification and identification as a human. Shuffles and Seeds is a single player VR experience. We will introduce the player to an embodiment, an avatar, in Virtual Reality that goes through different cycles of construction and deconstruction. After some time that avatar is deconstructed and dissolves again within the environment, only to be recreated in a new cycle. Across multiple cycles the avatar will evolve from just a copy of the player – to a blend of multiple memories created by the same player. In the next step we will also explore the boundaries between self and collective as we base the avatar on the memories of multiple previous players. We will create an AI based system that can shuffle and seed new avatars based on the memories it stores. In each case the player can interact with the new avatar, and this can also influence what kind of new memory traces will be created.
Shuffles and Seeds is a research project we starting to work on form May 2023 until the end of 2023. Shuffles and Seeds is made possible by the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL.
Here is some first concept art showing what this might look like.