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MOTHER OF
THE FOREST

2019

Media:

Virtual Reality Experience

Role:

Director, Artist, Screenwriter, Developer

Client:

Collaborated with Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Sequoia Parks Conservancy, CFC Media Lab & OCAD University

Mother of the Forest is an immersive, virtual reality experience that explores a sequoia tree's ecosystem through embodied perspectives of symbiotic species impacted by climate change.

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Mother of the Forest

Mother of the Forest (2019) is an immersive, virtual reality experience that explores a sequoia tree’s ecosystem through embodied perspectives of various species. Through the use of 360 video, digital environment design, and interactivity, Mother of the Forest pairs scientific information from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with artistic creation to exhibit the hidden truth, beauty and precarity at play in this ecology. Through the illustration of symbiotic relationships, it asks users to contemplate their own role in intertwined ecologies impacted by human activity resulting in biodiversity decline and climate change. In doing so, it depicts the complex webs of a sequoia forest that needs us, just as much as we need it.

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A Co-Production of
Director
Producer
Narrator
Music
Field Recordings
Field Recordings Sound Specialist
Field Recordings Project Manager
CFC Production Manager
OCADU Project Supervisors
Kylie Caraway
Ana Serrano
Krista Simonic
Brett Caraway
U.S. National Park Service
Dr. Jacob Job
Erik Meyer
Joseph Ellsworth
Dr. Haru Ji & Dr. Emma Westecott
Special Thanks to the OCADU Digital Futures Program, Sequoia Park Conservancy, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Mother of the Forest was Kylie's MFA Thesis Project in the Digital Futures program at OCAD University.

What The Futures: Digital Futures Graduate Exhibition Show

TMAC Centre. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. April 2019. 

OCAD University's GradEx 104

OCAD University. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. May 2019.

Digital Futures Graduate Medal Winner

FITC: The Technology and Creativity Conference 

Hilton Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. May 2019.

Canadian Film Centre Garden Party 

Canadian Film Centre. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. June 2019.

Canadian Film Centre BBQ Fundraising Event during TIFF

Canadian Film Centre. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. September 2019.

FIVARS 

TMAC Centre. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. September 2019.

World Premiere

Busan International Film Festival

Busan Cinema Center. Busan, South Korea. October 2019.

International Premiere

Planet in Focus Film Festival

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. October 2019.

National Park Service invited exhibition and talk

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. Three Rivers, California, United States. October 2019.

Giant Sequoias & Climate Change: A Virtual Reality Event

New Roads School. Santa Monica, California, United States. October 2019.

In collaboration with Sequoia Parks Conservancy, New Roads School, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

ReFrame Film Festival

VentureNorth. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. January 2020.

HotDocs International Film Festival

HotDocs Ted Rogers Cinema. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 2020.

  EXHIBITIONS  

  PRESS  

  PROCESS  

Through this research project, Mother of the Forest aimed to answer the following research question:

In what ways might immersive experiences represent a sequoia tree’s ecosystem, in order to communicate to users various perceptions of time and space, symbiosis, climate change, and environmental changes over time?

I explored the answer to this question using a speculative fabulation, research-creation methodology:

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PRIMARY RESEARCH: CONDUCTING
INTERVIEWS

I interviewed Dr. Christy Brigham, Chief of Resources Management for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as Krista Matias (pictured), naturalist for Sequoia Parks Conservancy. I inquired about climate change's impact on these ecosystems, the organizations' current efforts to communicate scientific information to broader audiences, and their opinions on how immersive experiences might impact these communication efforts.