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VR users are always in two worlds at once: the physical and the digital. And so in Shadowtime, which blurs that clear boundary between reality and virtuality, you always inhabit two bodies—and at a certain point you also experience having four hands in augmented reality.

The VR begins its exploration with the first-ever virtual object: a digital cube. By moving the cube you can make all sorts of locations appear. They look realistic but are actually an additional, disorienting AI-generated factor. Another level of disorientation arises from the fact that it briefly seems like you are using the very first VR headset—a different one than the headset you are actually wearing.

The term “shadowtime” has its origins in discussions about the Anthropocene. It is used to describe the feeling of living in simultaneous but irreconcilable realities—like being in virtual reality and the climate crisis (something Shadowtime repeatedly reminds you about). Is the shadow world of VR just a hiding place, an escape from reality? Or is it the perfect context for learning about how to be in two places at once?

Selected for DocLab Spotlight at IDFA 2023