Hollow Valley


In the Hollow of the Valley is a browser-based, interactive work that retells the origin story of salesforce.com as a point-and-click misadventure. Viewers navigate around a small apartment where memory, personal history, fiction, and the cryptic language of contemporary startups collide. Though many encounters within the work are pulled from research conducted by O’Brien, In the Hollow of the Valley treats the birth of “software as a service” as if it were a tragic fantasy. By clicking on objects throughout the home, viewers will experience a space both intimate yet absent; a room that is simultaneously familiar and alienating.

“We move a bit too quickly through the world, particularly in online and digital contexts. I think Silicon Valley fuels that sense of urgency; I wanted to throttle back the pace of how we experience technology from a visual and literary standpoint. I think the kind of immersion that hyperreality and VR offer is not one that I was hoping for in the future. I want to explore this world deeper, not get projected into another as an escape. In rare instances, hyperreality can do both: illuminate where we are physically while transporting us elsewhere.”

– Nicholas O’Brien speaking with Claire Evans for Terraform (read the full interview here)


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