This project is still very much in its infancy. So far, it has taken us through some fascinating portals, and we have yet to return — this being more of a postcard home, than a final account. By being able to take the VR-AR into a fixed, natural landscape, we have been able to creatively explore the edges and spaces that exist between what we perceive as fixed points. We have continued to explore this notion of the fixed point of an island and its relationship to the sea and the continual erosion and re-shaping of its edges and thus, narratives. We are interested in the way our sense of permanence or fixed point is disrupted, and how our sense of what is real and fixed is disrupted and transfigured through the juxtaposition of real-world landscapes and VR-AR responses. Our research continues into areas such as runic writings and the physical structure of language, and the historical and artistic narratives of place, specifically Orkney. We are making connections and plan to return to Orkney in 2019 to continue this work together.

We are now looking for funding to continue our work. Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to travel and imagine without moving, to pick up the threads of our imaginations and to weave them together with imagery, sound, and poetry, to create new perspectives and scenarios. By using VR and AR drawings, poetry, data capture and sonification, we can reimagine our travels beyond the stars, and start to spin the threads across the unknown. We want to explore how digital technology can be used to bridge that void, and navigate the measureless oceans of space, just as the early settlers to Orkney navigated the open seas across the unknown, and the stars from the stones. In a process of creative peregrination, we want to return to Orkney and continue our work, mapping our presence and movement within the landscape, exploring sagas to archaeological structures, geological formations to digital data, and from this point of reference, chart our progress into the mutable transience of energy.  Just as the spider spins threads to make connections across space, human-beings use engineering, technology, and knowledge to span the void of the unknown and venture out beyond the boundary of their fixed point.


Our Orkney Residency was supported by the following – with thanks!

a-n Artist Bursary 2018

John Vincent (Howe Bothy)