Common Domain is an virtual reality installation set in the worlds of non-existent but possible operas. It incorporates movable screens as a way to experience its world outside the VR headset. Common Domain was made in collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs and the Finnish National Opera&Ballet.
In Common Domain the VR experiencer can move through different worlds by putting their head into floating islands in the virtual world. When they do so, they will be instantly transported into the world in that island. All the worlds have direct and hidden interactions and the soundscape follows the actions of the experiencer.
Common Domain is also possible to experience through movable screen, which act as portals into the virtual world. There are two sets of screens: four large TV's forming a movable pillar of sorts, and four smaller screens on individual arms that can be moved and rotated freely. All screens are tracked, which means their movement will change the perspective shown on the screen. This movement will also effect the experience in the VR headset, meaning all the perspectives into the piece are part of the same world.
One of the main purposes of Common Domain was to explore how to open the VR world for multiple people at the same time. The opera was an interesting setting for this: opera can be experienced from multiple different perspectives. It's fundamentally different experience to be performing on a stage, watching the performance from the first row or from the balcony. Each perspective gives different insights into the piece. These perspectives are reproduced in Common Domain through the VR headset, the pillar of screens and the individual movable screens.
The worlds of Common Domain are also adapting to the environment just outside them: using Nokia Bell Labs' "Motion Engine" technology the current state of the space surrounding the piece will effect the virtual worlds. For example, in one world there will be sun shining when there's little to no people at all in the space, but when there's a big crowd there will be a whiteout blizzard.
Made in Unreal Engine 4 Role: everything in collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs and the Finnish National Opera&Ballet
Presented at the Finnish National Opera&Ballet 20.8.-19.9.2020