2019
trailer by Artificial Rome, approx. 15 min.
virtual reality experience
stereo sound

Michelle-Marie Letelier
The Bone VR

MM_Letelier_The_Bone-3

Photo by Oddbjørn Erland Aarstad

MM_Letelier_The_Bone-2-alt

Photo by Daniela Arrriado

The Bone is an interactive VR experience inside the skull of a wild salmon, where certain elements and narrations are to be discovered. These narrations address ethical and ecological issues related to salmon farming, domestication and coexistence with this species, from a non-anthropocentric, eco-philosophical and indigenous perspective.

Located inside an intermediate world–between deep sea and universe; between present, future or past; between reality, dream or utopia–this skull is a sculptural/architectural construction. The experiencer discovers two otoliths that grow interactively, revealing details about this salmon’s life in the past, as well as reflections towards its cousins: the captive salmons. These reflections are presented as a voice-over from the wild salmon’s perspective; the owner of the skull, in a way of the salmon’s poetic flow of consciousness. The real and virtual space is welcomed by a Yoik sung by Sámi artist Ánde Somby, providing a unique echo and spatiality to this VR, which is physically installed inside an old fishing boat. The materiality of the real old wood sensually echoes the virtual skull, inviting the experiencers to a journey that departs from their position as fisher species, towards the poiseis of the fish’ life.

The Bone was commissioned in 2019 by Screen City Biennial (SCB), Ecologies – lost, found and continued, presented in Stavanger, Norway.

Concept: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Production: Art Republic and Interactive Media Foundation/Ocean21, co-created with Artificial Rome
Executive Producers: Diana Schniedermeier and Daniela Arriado
Creative directors: Ina Krüger, Dirk Hoffmann
Script: Michelle-Marie Letelier & Martin Lee-Mueller
Salmon’s character voice: Martin Lee-Mueller
Yoik singer: Ánde Somby
Sound design: Christian Barth
Skull: UiB – University of Bergen Natural History Museum
Scanning: Fredrik M. Salhus, Bergen Academy of Art and Design, UiB; courtesy of Lars Ove Toft, BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts
Scientific advice: Professors Anne Karin Hufthammer, Arild Folkvord, Karin Limburg, Karin Pittman & Johnny Magnussen
Research advice: Prof. Harald Gaski, Ánde Somby, Sápmi Center for Contemporary Art, Karolin Tampere and Daniela Arriado.

Images: exhibited at Fiskepiren Ferry Terminal in the frame of Screen City Biennial 2019, Stavanger, Norway


The Bone is currently being developed and produced to a 2.0 version. The VR will be translated to several languages, and during 2021-2022, tour through Norway, Chile, Germany and Canada in collaboration with The Martin Gusinde Anthropological Museum, Goethe Institute, Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, Sami Center for Contemporary Art and Or Gallery.

Projects

SCB 2019Project type

KunstTVProject type

Son.ARProject type

SCB 2017Project type

SCB 2015Project type

Art Republic

About
Art Republic is a platform dedicated to art and new technology in public and online space. The platform explores the relation between image, sound and architecture – seeking to expand the borders of the cinematic experience. Art Republic curates and commissions moving images, sound art, interactive and immersive site-specific art installations and online screenings.