Based in Maas, Israel
March 1, 2016
Press / Business contact
Yotam Rozin, Concept, Direction, Development, Design, Sound Design, Israel
Yinon Kuperstein, Sound Design, Israel
Yuval Bar-On (Jungle Studio), Sound Design, Israel
Ayelet Yekutiel, Narration, Israel
Yuval Rozin, Audio Engineer, Israel
Mala Kline, Script Adviser, Slovenia
Micaela Terk, Script Adviser, Israel
Water Tower Architecture: Idan Amati
Special Thanks: Sagie Pudinsky | Shiri Blumenthal | Almog Melamed | Jungle Studio | Tal Haring | Shachar Kantor | Wendy Geri
Asset Attribution: "Campfire," https://goo.gl/8XByuj by David Stenfors licensed under CC BY 4.0
Homescape is a hypnotizing and mysterious Virtual Reality interactive experience. Wearing the headset, players go through guided meditation and dive deep into a dark landscape, whose design is based on the fields surrounding Ma’as, the artist's Israeli hometown. Viewers explore the mysterious regions close to home and the uncharted territories of their own mind. In the midst of the native biota, vestiges of colonial British rule, and ruins of Palestinian settlements, players encounter the inhabitants of the cultural unconscious, who reside together to form the sites of the artist’s childhood memories.
The independent exploration of this vast digital landscape is an alluring, poetic, and thought-provoking experience.
Festival De Cannes - Israeli pavilion | Cannes, France (2016)
A MAZE - nominee + exhibition | Berlin, Germany (2018)
GameOn! - exhibition | Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017)
The First International Digital Design Symposium and Festival - China University of Technology | Taipei, Taiwan (2018)
Beit Kandinof - Solo Exhibition Homescape, curator: Lior Sedan | Tel Aviv - Jaffa, Israel (2018)
Print Screen Festival - Artist in Residence + exhibition | Holon, Israel (2017)
Haifa International Film Festival - VR Garden | Haifa, Israel (2016)
DocAviv - Tel Aviv / Yeruham, Israel (2016)
Anination - Jerusalem, Israel (2016)
Leading Latin America cinema magazine HacienDocin covering Game On! Festival and Presentation of Home, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The piece asks what goes in and what stays out of our residential environments. These marginal spaces are also home to the historical vestige of British colonial rule and ruins of Palestinian settlements. The remnants mutely confront the occasional wanderer’s own historical narrative and identity. The strange composition of the landscape in the project promotes inquiry into the sociological and historical processes that form our environments, a process that was critical in the development of this magical-realistic digital reconstruction.
Like most landscapes that surround us, Homescapes is impressed with the subconscious of individuals and cultures. For every viewer there is something else lurking in the darkness, something else that is the phantom subject of their fears. For me, as a child, there was always the imagination of a malicious Arabic man. This racial and childish fear is also a subconscious voice of the culture I was immersed in. In confronting the viewers with another human presence, they are provoked to project their fear and invited to question their preconceptions of that Other, that which lies outside of our cultures or communities. The project attempts to spark these inquiries out of one’s own desire and curiosity to stroll through its dark digital landscape and discover what lies there. It introduces an alluring interactive experience of free but guided navigation that feels at once safe but mysterious, poetic but chilling.
Understanding the landscape
Homescape, in a way, is a continuation of a series of photographic excursions and paintings (digital and traditional) that spans for about 13 years. The series traces the unique features that characterizes the Israeli marginal landscape. It shows the dry flora, the agriculture but also the historical ruins, the infrastructure and the modernistic structures. Some of the less recognizable buildings remain mysterious and do not communicate their story or function to the occasional wanderer.
The project is an evolution of Home - a project I began at the Steamer Salon VR lab, Tel Aviv 2016. During the 11 day lab, with the help of mentors and lectures introducing the participants with features and challenges of VR technology, I had to consolidate the concept and create a working prototype of the experience. In the last three days of hackathon, I teamed up with sound designer Yinon Kuperstein, 3D artist Shiri Blumenthal and programmer Almog Melamed, and together we created a Gear VR version, with a small patch of land and the general look and feel.
Designing The World
This demanded a variety of approaches and tools. Realizing the concept and designing the terrain demanded an intriguing combination of field work, design and theory and involved architecture, game and sound design, programming, image processing, and animation and a great deal of collaboration and coordination.
This was done with great help from friends, and especially with the help of Yinon Kuperstein and Sagie Pudinsky.