The recession of glaciers in the Solukhumbu region, accelerated by global warming is symbolic of humanity’s insidious alteration of the Earth. Even the most inaccessible places on the planet are subject to our ubiquitous presence and the weight of our environmental footprint. Unsustainable practices must be corrected, but for those who live far from environments where change is easily discernable it's hard to justify the difficult choices this might entail. There is a lack of awareness about the impact of climate change on local communities and in the Solukhumbu, the strain put on a fragile region already suffering from the consequences of a steep rise then sudden decline in tourism.
I will create an immersive environment through a combination of still images, video and sound concentrating on the natural and human environments of the Solukhumbu. My approach will be:
High resolution VR capable 360 images accompanied by ambient sound with embedded sound points.
Still formal portraits of people from the Solukhumbu.
Video portraits of residents of the Solukhumbu.
The virtual exhibition would be integrated into MELT. Viewers can explore a short form interactive that guides them through the region with a series of360s with soundscapes and interactive elements embedded such as photographs, infographics and short video clips. This will be VR headset compatible.
These elements could also be shown with the physical exhibition. Large prints could be accompanied by soundscapes. As the viewer dons VR goggles to look around at a melting glacier they hear the sound of the water droplets falling and ravens calling overhead. When they take the goggles off to move on to a video or still portrait of a Sherpa woman and hear the sounds of her kitchen. Thus, the viewer is transported from their city to the high Himalayas, where people feel first hand the landscape around them changing.