[Tianbai Jia|Her Palace]

Her Palace is a Virtual Reality experience that simulates the subjective human experience of internally engaging with personal memories. This simulation provides an interactive and cinematic narrative experience that features a female character with her intimate self-reflections on a relationship. Aiming to externalize an internal human cognitive process, the engagement of memory, this simulation bases its interaction design on theories of cognitive science. In rendering the memory episodes as a narrative, this simulation also reflects on the way that narratives are actively constructed in the human mind. This project brings awareness to the mediation processes of both the external medium of Virtual Reality and the internal medium of memory and narrative. It attempts to stage the contradictions and complexities of the contemporary human experience by raising many questions but providing no answer.

This experience relates to the theme of [Re|Dis]Connection in two ways: its topic of memories, and its exploration of the active construction of narratives.

Memories have a contradictory nature of symbolizing re-connection and dis-connection at the same time – it is the way we human being re-connection with our past, but its very own existence is also the proof that we are eternally disconnected with the time when these memories took place. As we engage with our memories, we re-connect and dis-connect with our past at the same time.

In this experience, the narrative experience is actively constructed based on the user’s interaction (thus interactive storytelling), and the only interaction in this experience is gaze. Gazes trigger fragments of intentionally dis-connected narrative beats, and the coherent narratives are only constructed in the interactors’ minds by re-connecting these beats. Different gazing behaviors constructs new narratives, just like re-connecting the dis-connected constructs new connections.