Click here to see Am Alone?
It’s easy for our bodies – visceral as they are – to conceptualise relations with the digitally evanescent as distinct, individual interactions. That is to say, a visit to a popular website is considered a solitary, private act, despite the 10,000s of people exploring that same page at the same time.
For the majority of web content, only artefacts of other users remain: likes, shares, comments. Visitors become archeologists, navigating through the remnants of those who have chosen carve their names upon the stone.
Even in places designed to bring people together in real-time – chat rooms – there is little embodiment in the interactions. Conversation is two-dimensional and ever-present: one cannot move into a quite corner, or take a group aside. The people inhabiting the zone are flattened; reduced.
Am Alone? looks to add context to website visits, presenting each visitor of the page as an avatar inside a shared VR environment. The audience witnesses other visitors whom are inhabiting the same digital location at the same time.
Visitors are randomly assigned a 3D avatar and are invited to move around the virtual space, watching and silently interacting with other people who have decided to visit at the same time.
Am Alone? is written in A-Frame, a WebVR markup language to allow virtual reality and augmented reality environments within the web browser, and thus without specialised software.
The network interface code was written by the extraordinarily talented Hayden James Lee.
The 3D models are used on a creative commons license, from these contributors.