Photos © Chloé Lee

VR Installation


Materials: Oculus Quest, Willow branches and contact microphone. A collaboration with Chloé Lee and Vanta

Stretching Materialities, Hidden Activities in Objects and Spaces at Tieranatomisches Theater, Berlin
Philippstraße 13 (Campus Nord, Haus 3)
10115 Berlin

The willowphone is a wearable object and virtual reality headset that transposes the sound of the wear’s environment through two long willow branches mounted on top of the HMD. It was developed as part of the sound installation, Antenna. The user finds themselves in the center of a larger-than-life willow tree that fills the entire lecture hall of the Tieranatomisches Theater.

Antenna is a performative sound installation that centers around the custom-built “willowphone,” a hack of the traditional virtual reality headset, which reimagines how we engage with, and impact, our environment. This first iteration is intended for the lecture hall at Tieranatomisches Theater and selected for its acoustics. The domed ceiling creates echoes and delays, ‘throwing sounds’ in unexpected ways. Audio from the willowphone is sent to transducers mounted to the headset and room speakers, turning the space an oversized speaker and creating a multilayered experience.

The exhibited performative object is a working version of willowphone 1.0. The full performative version includes additional hardware: transducers, contact microphones, an amplifier, and additional cables connected to an audio mixer.

Antennae was created as part of the Stretching Senses School, curated by Maxime Le Calvé, Yoonha Kim and Anne Delle for Object Space Agency of the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity« of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.