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'THE CAVE', 2022
VR Installation, animation

The Cave (2022) is a VR animation / installation at the intersection of digital data processing and story-telling, which examines the spatial evidence of a real ice cave’s shifting ecology through the story of a fantastical organism’s evolution within it. The Cave (2022) is set within the 3D scan of a glacial cave in Svalbard, explored and scanned by Tideland Studio, which archives a particular moment of an ever-changing spatial condition and digitally suspends it in time.

The project was born from a desire to re-infuse this digital space with ‘time’ and explore this frozen environment through the lens of multiple temporalities, addressing not only the life-cycles of land and water but equally its wider, living ecosystem, including microbiota, flora and fauna. This journey overlays several chronologies, from the annual melting and re-freezing of ice layers, to the evolutionary cycle of organic matter, inspired by millennia old microbes encapsulated within the depths of glacial ice.

The narrative warps the viewer’s understanding of space by transforming the 3D-scanned cave into a Möbius strip, where one infinitely loops through the narrow crevices and vast openings of the frosty landscape. Originating in the deep frost zones, the organism at first has a spore-like appearance, firmly encased within ice blocks, only released into the air once temperatures rise and the ice melts. As they settle within the newly-formed water pools, they crystallise into egg clusters, waiting to hatch into flying organisms which roam the vast defrosted cave until their life cycle begins anew.


AKUT #4 Endangered Spaces & Species
Designmuseum Denmark, DK

'Archive of Endangered Spaces' ​ by Tideland Studio
On-Site Gallery, Aarhus, DK

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