Land is constituted from patterns and complex symbioses that form the blueprints of creation and regeneration. We facilitate the emergence of solutions in dialogue between these optimal systems and sub-optimal systems, for example in seeking ways for the economies of scale in natural systems to be expressed in organisations and institutions. We work across all disciplines and theoretical perspectives as needed, as one of the unique gifts of our traditional knowledge systems is that they are not separated into arbitrary abstracts of specialised fields or oppositional theoretical standpoints. In every application of knowledge we seek to build in affordances that increase relationships with humans, non-humans and entities of place, creating feedback loops that continue to generate adaptive responses over time.
A project we are currently involved in is creating an XR experience for astronaut training and mental health in space. IKSLab contributions to this experience currently begin with the overview effect of viewing the earth from space, then immerse the user in an intensely localised experience grounded in seasonal activity specific to a particular bioregion (e.g. fishing for mullet on the east coast). This will draw attention to seasonal indicators such as plants flowering and birds nesting or migrating, highlighting the symbioses of interdependent earth systems. This lens will then be directed back towards the night sky, to the seasonal patterns of astronomy that accompany the land-based activity. The user will experience an overview effect of their own location in space from that intensely localised and immersive point of view on earth, directing their attention to their surroundings in space with a more holistic observational lens.
This approach is informed by an Indigenous analysis of Australian explorer narratives and journals, which are characterised by an inability of European explorers to notice the abundance and dynamic relations of the unfamiliar space they are exploring, often resulting in despair, starvation, and unnecessary peril and death. Paradoxically, it was their groundedness in the familiar places they had left behind that prevented them from adjusting their viewpoint for effective observation of unfamiliar systems. In this way, the Indigenous XR experience will leverage the overview effect to move beyond relaxation and mitigating homesickness, seeking to enhance observational capacity and mental health through connection to the astronaut’s locatedness in ‘Sky Country’, rather than mere escapist illusions of their home planet.
Journal of Indigenous ResearchJournal of Indigenous Research
Full Circle: Returning Native Research to the PeopleFul yunkaporta-relationally-2020