From this research-based discourse, Dawood proposes what our future landscape might look like in 150 years.
Leviathan Legacy: part 1 begins on a beach in Cuba at nightfall, 150 years into the future. Exploring the beach, you understand that the economic disparity between rich and poor has widened, as you see a brightly lit luxury marina with a tall wall keeping you (the user) out. A mysterious voice then coaxes you into the dark ocean and there you meet the protagonist of the story: an enlarged Louisiana Red Swamp Crayfish (currently one of the most invasive species in the water) with telepathic abilities. The user will encounter mutant lionfish, pulsating jellyfish and coral that have survived through human intervention and events spurred by global climate change.
A future landscape
From this research-based discourse, Dawood proposes what our future landscape might look like and some of the key issues that might shape it, such as hybridogenesis: which covers symbiosis, cross-breeding, as well as human intervention in species. These issues are woven into the backstory of Dawood’s environment where rising sea levels and calcification of the oceans have led to new hybrid species and new social hierarchies.
This VR has two possible language versions (English and Mandarin), with two very different actors and personalities (one a brash New Yorker, and the other, a demurer woman from Shanghai) as a means of conveying parallel narrative possibilities.
Leviathan Legacy: part 1 launches at Art Review’s curated section of West Bund Art & Design Fair, Shanghai 8–11th November 2018. Part 1 of the trilogy has been developed with Monochrome, Paris and has been generously supported by DSL Collection, Plymouth Arts Centre, The Marine Institute at Plymouth University, University of Westminster’s Institute of Advanced Studies and the CreativeXR programme an initiative from Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.