A making of: Kykeon
Kykeon began when Motion Bank invited me to translate one of their dance recordings into a new artwork. And essentially, the whole Kykeon project emerged from this dance and its dataset.
The Motion Bank team recorded a dance piece by Taneli Törmä and tanz-mainz using a motion capture system. This allowed them to translate dancers’ movements into x,y and z coordinates… so that they could pass them on to be transformed into new artforms across disciplines.
When I was analyzing the 3-D recording of the dance, I became captivated by the circular nature of the choreography. There was something very primal about seeing five dancers orbiting repeatedly – similar to witnessing a rare tribal dance around a communal fire. So this symbol of the circle and ancient cultures became the starting point for us…
In fact, the word ‘circle’ in Greek is translated as “kyklos” – which inspired the name of the project. Kykeon is also a potion that was used in rituals in Ancient Greece, believed to be the key to wisdom and the cyclic nature of everything.
It was by learning more about these ancient rituals that I became fascinated by the symbol of the mask and thought it might be really interesting to explore the parallels between the ritual mask and the VR headset.
Shamans and traditional healers across different cultures are known to wear masks that block their eyesight in order to gain greater interior vision. They access invisible worlds and grasp the inherent connection between everything.
Nowadays (however), we seem to lose this sense of connection with nature and each other. We are short-sighted, and yet statistics and facts have a limited power to change our behaviors.
So I began to wonder if a VR mask could be a window to the hidden worlds – reminding us of these deep ancestral links. What if we could use modern technologies not to blind us, but to help us become a more conscious society?