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Falling From the Earth

In spring 2013, I completed my master’s thesis, which was easily the biggest project I’ve ever completed. The project, Falling From the Earth, is a prototype of an immersive video exhibition exploring the relationship between immersion and the uncanny within the context of a narrative. Following historical, philosophical, and psychological theories of immersion and the uncanny, it places a single spectator in a darkened room with four projected video feeds, eight channels of surround sound, a replication of a physical gravesite, and chairs situated near the center of the exhibition space.

Its narrative tells the story of a man who has vanished, and its style yields unconventional character development, placing the spectator as a character in the story while weaving through first-person sequences and omniscient third-person sequences. Its physical layout and subtle use of interaction force its spectator into a role of mysterious significance, navigating a space that appears interactive, yet offers surprisingly little alteration to its narrative.

As the exhibition nears its conclusion, the fate of the missing man becomes apparent, and the spectator is suspected of being at fault in the disappearance. With little means by which to exonerate him or herself, the spectator must quietly witness the murky end to Falling From the Earth’s story.

Falling From the Earth offers numerous implications for the relationship between immersive environments and the uncanny, exhibiting that immersion largely exacerbates feelings of the uncanny. The exhibition also demonstrates the importance of placing spectators in unfamiliar roles and challenging their expectations.

View the video documentation here:

View the video content here:

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