Pedro Vargas Ruiz

Digital Death final, 2020

VR experience for Oculus Quest

The space of this work transposes reality into an order that becomes digital. The work takes up the funeral rite as a tradition to appropriate death as a magical force that transforms that negative into being. A place where the body of the deceased does not exist, a place lost in the digital space of 0 and 1 in which a funeral takes place. The funeral without a body, without a physical presence, but with a digital presence, revealed the resignification of death from the digital age. Transcendence through digital. Nobody really dies in the digital world (Goñi, 2019) and the passage of the rite without a body in person made it even more evident.

This work exposes a funeral by video call that takes place in the middle of the COVID pandemic. The work presents a record of that digital funeral that takes place in the city of Santiago at 1:30 p.m. The audio is integrated into a playful VR format, a kind of video game that recreates the room of the deceased. The viewer can navigate in real time within the room and listen to the audio of the funeral. The recording of the funeral comes from an intimate and familiar experience of the artist that takes place on 06.06.2020. The support of the work was developed in a video game engine called Unity, which is installed as an application that is deployed on a 55-inch television. Furthermore, the viewer can use a virtual reality headset to move around in this grim setting. Finally, the avatar that appears in the center of the room is a 3D scan of a real person that can be purchased from an online library. These platforms have thousands of people scanned to be used as a 3D model or as an avatar in virtual systems.


Credits: Director/Developer: Pedro Vargas

Duration: 15min 19sec

Roomscale: 4mt x 4mt




Pedro Vargas (Paris, France) is a researcher in the EVI LAB focus on virtual reality development program at Pontificie Universidad Católica, and co-founder of Utopic Studio, Edtech that develops VR tools for XR content. He has a background in visual arts and holds a Masters in Media Arts from Universidad de Chile and in Engineering in virtual reality and innovation from ENSAM, Paris Tech, France. He has received the Orange Innovation Award 2012 France, First place in the 6th Digital Art and Technology Contest tribute to Matilde Pérez, for the VR installation Illusion and Simulation, the Alberto Hurtado Journalism Award of Excellence for VR Violeta application and FONDART 2019 an art funding.

Currently his projects reflect on the intersection between art and videogames, VR / AR, and XR FILM. Focus on the relationship between art and politics has become a persistent source of new practices in the field of the symbolic, throwing new perspectives on the public activity of our societies.

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.