Darkening is a personal memoir experience by Ondřej Moravec, who takes the viewer on an interactive journey through a variety of spatial metaphors of his experience of depression. There are a number of interactive opportunities to use your voice to release tension as Moravec walks you through his embodied experiences in similar moments of catharsis, which allows you to connect the embodied practices that have allowed him to find solace through his depression. You see this experience in a group of up to 3 other people, which creates a disassociated sort of social dynamics as you can overhear other people as they go through moments of catharsis in the experience. At the end of the screening at Venice Immersive, Moravec was on hand to lead the four audience members through a debriefing group conversation allowing them to reflect upon and share any similar experiences of mental health. I had a chance to sit down with Moravec to talk about his process of creating this piece, how curating other immersive events helped to hone his own sense of experiential design, and how he hopes to help cut through mental health taboos with this experience as he continues to tour around and directly engage with audience members to help unpack the experience.
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