Cardamom of The Dead


Everyone at this party is Dead/Cardamom of the Dead is one of the first lyric literary works for Oculus Rift. It is a complete but expanding work (Cardamom of the Dead is the larger suite of stories) containing about 30 small narrative worlds, explored in a sandbox. You enter the piece standing at the edge of an island and in the middle of a soundscape of a party taking place, with guests being named: these were the guests of my 21st birthday and they are now all dead. What follows is a fictionalized narrative, at times semi-autobiographical, at other times entirely made-up. You are urged to explore houses and stones and artefacts spread across the terrain of the island at skewed scales-like a dreamscape. Addressable objects are signaled by tear-shaped signposting and will propel you into a different environments in order to access and bring to light three longer narratives of the dead woven through the work: 1) a story of a sudden illness and a meditation on euthanasia and family stories on this theme; 2) a coming-of-age story of sex relating to a murder; and 3) a meta-theme of collecting-objects, memories, digital artefacts-as a consoling practice: most of the images and soundscapes here are from my family archives

Caitlin Fisher’s Everyone at this party is Dead/Cardamom of the Dead offers a psychogeographic memory palace that a user can explore through through a virtual reality interface.Everyone at this Party is Dead stands as one of the inaugural literary pieces that explore the poetic capacities of VR headsets like the Oculus Rift. Starting with a memory of a 21st birthday party in which all the guests are now dead, the haunting visual and aural fragments of traumatic memory are reinforced through an unsettling bodily awareness that arises from the embodied experience of immersive virtual space. In the same way memory is never linear or seamless,Everyone at this party isDead/Cardamom of the Dead tears at the edges of virtual reality as a technical system and philosophical concept.The instability of memory, the play between truth and fiction, and the complex ways in which the past are being constantly remediated through this highly visceral mediation on the remembrance of things past result in a complex mediation on the relationship between media, memory, and death.”