Magnhild Øen Nordahl

Two Ducks Do Not Make a Duck

2019

Sculptures made in styrofoam and hydrocal, VR trackers, VR googles and other VR technolgogy

Two Rocks Do Not Make a Duck is an iterative augmented virtuality work in progress by Cameron MacLeod and Magnhild Øen Nordahl which explores a blurring of the boundaries between the physical and the digital. Via a VR headset users are placed in a simulated wilderness environment with a 3D-modeled geography corresponding to the physical outdoor location. Sculptures shaped as rocks are placed in the space, and 3D scanned versions of them appear in the VR scene. The objects have VR trackers on them that align the physical and the virtual, so when a user picks up the rock and moves it around they see the digital model moving in the VR headset as well. This interaction is scripted to trigger events in the simulated, natural environment such as the position of the sun on the sky or other aspects that are beyond human capacities in the physical realm. Staged in the troublesome setting of human use of technology to control nature, this project aims to let the exhibition goer explore a new kind of physical-digital ecosystem.

The work was developed and showed at the Banff Center for Art and Creativity during the Digital Promises thematic residency in 2019 in Banff, Canada.