“GO” is a groundbreaking symbiosis of literature and virtual realitya different kind of reading by Klaus Merz, one of the most famous Swiss writers . Through the joint attention directed at both the literary text and the virtual space, a completely novel dimension in the narration emerges in which the audience will become more than just a ‘listening spectator’ and more than a simple eyewitness to an audiobook .
The story of this moving virtual reality experience is based on the eponymous book by Klaus Merz. The excerpts – read by the author himself – are joined together in the virtual space to tell the story of Peter Thaler who sets out on a mountain hike in a quest for inner stability. A misstep in a snowstorm leads to an accident in which he breaks his ankle. Lying immobilized in the soft snow, his internal monologue turns into an argument that transcends his inevitable fate .
Through these events, “GO” addresses issues of everyday and ultimate transience, loss and mortality, while a liberating view of life. Although the story begins by stating the outcome – the silent but significant disappearance of Peter Thaler – the narrative arc nevertheless creates a tension that escalates towards a heightened, yet equally more open understanding.
GO” merges the oldest with the most recent narrative form o create a stand-alone, novel experience. Sandro Zollinger selected and rearranged twelve unaltered passages from the 2005 novella “LOS”, which tells an entire life story in concise, haunting prose. Thus, they have succeeded in further distilling the work of an author, celebrated as a craftsman of finely tuned precision, by about nine tenths without, however, altering its core.
This doubly condensed narrative essenceis then sent on an impressive journey through a virtual world. The world of “GO” tells its story by creating haunting moods, triggering feelings with mere suggestions and repeatedly implying further connotations. The 25-minute virtual reality experience thus succeeds in expanding the ambiguity of literature, matching it with effective imagery, while steering clear of cheap gimmickry and simplistic illustrations.
GO” manages to find a balance between the imaginary world sparked by the text and the overwhelming power of VR in order to tell a story that has not yet been told.
«Nirgends fühlt er sich so gut aufgehoben wie in der Eisenbahn.»
«Die Schneehöhe nimmt jetzt zu, die Augen brennen, aber ans Umkehren denkt Thaler nicht.»
«Auf allen Schulreisen war er augenblicklich vom Heimweh nach sanfteren Tönen befallen worden.»