MVT (Minimum Viable Tranquility) is a series of three simplified digital environments. Each is based off of an archetypal environment where people often find tranquility:
a forest, a picnic, and a beach.
Each of these environments is rendered in simplified 3D with a limited colour palette, and then paired with a looping soundscape and simple rotating animation.
The primary intention of MVT is to explore the positive
impact that digital environments can have on an
individual’s mental state. Recently- but doubly during
the current quarantine- digital environments have been a
huge element of escapism, socialization, and structure
for isolated individuals.
With technical advances allowing for growing realism and increasing detail, digital spaces are becoming just as “real” as physical ones, and just as important to many people’s lives.
MVT is a love letter to digital spaces that have helped me to weather isolation. I want these scenes to convey a sense of peace and security, and the feeling of being alone but not lonely. These spaces reject the idea of digital environments as “cold”, unnatural, or analytical.
Digital spaces have taken on the same information-dense and quickly changing state as our metropolitan lives.
Simple, infinitely looping animations and audio allows the viewer to experience the
environment without a sense of urgency.
Depicting natural landscapes emphasizes the disconnect from the intense stimuli of modern urban life.
Reducing the digital environments to simplified forms became an exploration of how abstracted these
environments can become while still retaining an emotional impact.
The MVT environments explore this idea of minimum detail for maximum impact, while also drawing on emotions of nostalgia to emphasize a sense of comfort.
By restricting to a four colour
palette the artist was able to force themselves to simplify the forms until they were readable as simple shapes.
The rotating animation also helps with clarity of forms by providing alternative angles to any ambiguous shapes.
Through simplification and stylization, the forms in MVT become closer to symbols than to direct representations.
Hannah Zaitlin (born 1997) is a media artist and designer from Calgary, Alberta. They combine principles of user experience and interface design with collaborative multimedia to create exploratory digital spaces. Their work focuses on creating digital environments to examine issues of identity such as mental illness, cultural belonging, and gender expression. Zaitlin uses these spaces to explore how empathy can be built through modes of control and direct versus indirect mechanical interaction. By re-framing the standards of digital interaction, Zaitlin questions the agency of the viewer versus the digital system, and how power and understanding are exchanged between the two.
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