Virtual Reality Art Work

The Bone

The Bone is an interactive virtual reality experience inside the skull of a wild salmon. The immersive experience puts us into the consciousness streams of wild and farmed salmon. We experience the different living conditions of these animals in poetic-mythical form. The Bone addresses the ecological and ethical issues that are becoming increasingly urgent with the rapidly growing salmon industry worldwide and questions the increasing alienation between man and nature.

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 visitor 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 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 poiesis of the fish’ life.

The Bone - Trailer

"What can art contribute to the discourse on climate change and ecology? Perhaps this: empathy".
taz, review The Bone premiere at the Screen City Biennial 2019
"The Bone puts me on edge. It demands of me to remain vigilant, and to ask myself: What is it I see? Whose voices am I hearing? Who am I ...?"
Martin Lee Mueller, Autor, Philosoph
" intriguing angle: through virtual reality technology to search for possibilities to evoke a greater sensitivity for the inner lives of fish!"
Martin Lee Mueller, Author, Philosopher
"I really do not want to speak on behalf of another species, i really want to bring into dialougue these species."
Michelle-Marie Letelier, Artist


Connecting spaces, cultures and senses

The Virtual Reality Experience 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 a fisher species towards the poiesis of the fish life. This transfromation is connected and accompanied by a traditional yoik sung by the Sami artist Ànde Somby, which creates a unique echo in physical and virtual space.

The Bone is currently available in English and Spanish. It 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.
Image exhibited at Fiskepiren Ferry Terminal in the frame of Screen City Biennial 2019, Stavanger, Norway; Photo by Daniela Arriado


Artist and Team

The Bone was created in artistic collaboration with Michelle-Marie Letelier, Martin Lee-Müller and Artificial Rome, co-produced by Interactive Media Foundation and Art Republic, commissioned by Screen City Biennial Stavanger 2019; developed 2019 - 2021.

Idea and concept: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Production: OCEANS21, Art Republic and Interactive Media Foundation
Executive producers: Diana Schniedermeier & Daniela Arriado
Creative directors: Ina Krüger & Dirk Hoffmann
Script: Martin Lee Mueller
Script editing: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Art direction VR: Robert Werner
3D Artist: Christian Rambow
Sound design: Christian Barth & Julian Ferreira da Silva
Salmon’s voice: Martin Lee Mueller
Yoik singer: Ánde Somby
Skull: UiB – University of Bergen Natural History Museum
3D scanning: Fredrik M. Salhus, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, UiB; courtesy of Lars Ove Toft, Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts
Scientific advice: 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 & Daniela Arriado
THE BONE is funded by Fondos Cultura Convocatoria 2020 – Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Chile.

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