Empowered by the metaverse, Native Tongue XR is a free spirit, transcending borders and materiality in a fast redefining world. Manifesting over 3m/10ft high and viewed through a personal mobile phone or tablet, the virtual sculpture is experienced in real time and three-dimensional space. Both atavistic and high-tech, it brings the past into the present. The totemic figure is the digital twin of an ancient kauri monument Native Tongue, carved from the heartwood of a majestic tree from a primordial forest, a taonga/treasure, buried in Aotearoa NZ during the last Ice Age.
Shaped as a first person pronoun and number One/First, Native Tongue XR is an alter-ego or 'Other I'. Rooted in the Earth, rays of light enliven the golden grains of the primordial wood and an I-shadow imprints the monument on the land. The virtual medium serves to amplify and release the figure’s time-bound materiality and minimalist form; siting creative technology within conceptual art frameworks, and as a means not an end. Physically connecting in real space with the digital form sparks curiosity and offers deeply personal and enriching shared experiences of an otherworldly presence in public space.