Neeti Sivakumar

Nurturing Memory (On-going)

Video game on anticipating grief 

In anticipation of grief, I have begun to memorialize my grandmother. The deterioration of her health due to dementia forces me to question how I would like to remember her. While I ponder this question, all I can think of are how her hands, now wrinkled, raised a family using her lived experiences. Through recorded conversations, photogrammetry, and interaction, I intend to revisit the way she has spent her life nurturing plants and people. This garden of memories mimics how she tends to her garden, with care and touch. As the plants sprout, blossom, and wither, her stories share snippets of her life.

Screenshot: Environment and modeling in progress

Context: Kamala (Sridharan) is a 95-year-old Indian woman living in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Her home, though, was previously in Kumarakom, Ballari, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and finally, in Bangalore. Much of her life was shaped by her role in her immediate family. I believe that making a garden was some sort of solace to her. I would like to build this piece for her so she can garden again. I have created a simple prototype in unity that has her walking through this garden. Furthermore, I have collected motion capture data to realistically depict her movement and interaction with plants.
The first arc of the project is an interactive game focused on depicting aspects of dementia and memory deterioration. The second arc follows the story of three caregivers and their personal experiences around anticipated grief of losing family members. The third and final arc requires the participation of the audience in sharing similar stories through audio recordings.

Video: Work-in-progress of video game; Cutscene introduction to video game