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La Biennale di Venezia

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Exploring Home

Venice VR Expanded
Sara Lisa Vogl
Root Productions (Sara Lisa Vogl)
Running Time:
English, Farsi
Ash Koosha
HTC Vive/Vive Pro/Pro 2 Oculus Rift/Rift S/Quest w/link Valve Index Windows Mixed Reality
Director / creator / producer:Root
Co-writer:Paul Raphael
Audio engineer:Fabio Buccheri
Creative technologist:Rick Treweek


Exploring Home is an intimate, virtual reality performance about connection, identity, emotional heritage, shame, destruction, love and perspective. Today’s Iran is disabling creativity through control and restrictions. This immersive, audio-visual journey is an artistic collaboration between three individuals that are not accepted in their country of heritage—or from another perspective—not accepting the rules of their country of heritage. The creators of this piece found a home in Europe. But do they belong? With Exploring Home the director opens a window into how it feels to grow up with the influences of a society where people fear to express themselves freely. She wants to build awareness and empathy around restrictions and political sanctions. Around personal stories. All through our lives we need to belong. It is central to human nature.

Director’s Statement

Ash Koosha’s music is the soundtrack to my journey. Like my dad Ash lives in exile. The third collaborator on the piece can’t be named due to the political circumstances. All three artists live in Europe and have family in Iran. I was born in southern Germany in 1990 as a half-iranian, darker skinned child with lots of hair but seemingly no dad. He came to Germany in 1979 seeking political asylum from Iran and was accepted into the country but not allowed to work. He was blacklisted in Iran with half our family still there and never recovered from that.
In the meantime I lived with my mom wanting nothing more than to change my skin so I am not constantly associated with dirt and violence. But I can’t wash it off—you can’t change your skin. Though you can make experiences with which it becomes easier to grow into your own skin and own your unique perspective on life. In digital worlds, skin is the word for more than the boundaries of our bodies. It is the name for our whole avatars. The textures and shaders that create depth and color on one´s skin can be a unique, unrestricted expression of one’s personality. But also racism enters the Metaverses. My virtual self Root wears special—or some people call it—distorted skin. That is not well received by a majority of manga fans with bright, perfect, non-hairy skin. They tell me when they hide my avatar. I grew to like my vision of my skin—and I am hesitant to change it—even if the comments hurt and it is made clear I don’t belong. Belonging—to go along with—that which I go along with and that which goes along with me. It creates this image of traveling together. I take those things that I wish to travel along with me. My Skin travels with me everywhere.


PRODUCTION 1: Sara Lisa Vogl – Root Productions
Rheinsberger Straße 68
10115, Berlin, Germany
Tel. +49 15119497421

WORLD SALES: Sara Lisa Vogl – Root Productions
Rheinsberger Straße 68
10115, Berlin, Germany
Tel. +49 15119497421

PRESS OFFICE: Sara Lisa Vogl – Root Productions
Rheinsberger Straße 68,
10115, Berlin, Germany
Tel. +49 15119497421

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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema