Searching for ‘ō’ō


2020, Group exhibition, Speculum Artium, Trbovlje, Slovenia
2020, Group exhibition, Zajčja luknja, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2018, Group exhibition, Premiera 2018 – 4. trienale mladih umetnikov,Galerija sodobne umetnosti, Celje, Slovenija
2018, Group exhibition, Kino Otok, Izola, Slovenia
2017, Group exhibition, MFRU, Maribor, Slovenia
2017, Group exhibition, School of Arts, Gorica, Italia


Searching for ‘ō’ō is a 360-degree VR installation. The user is confronted with a 360-degree spherical photograph representing a place that exists now but will not be here for much longer, an island called Naranjo Chico which is one of 370 low-lying islands of the San Blas Archipelago, inhabited by indigenous people called Guna Yala. They speak their own language and enjoy an autonomous region inside the country of Panama. Researchers even say that the islands will be uninhabited in 20 to 30 years’ time due to the sea level rising. The Guna Yala people will not disappear by the rising sea, but this will significantly change where they live and they will have to face new problems. Just like scientists preserved the sound of an extinct bird ‘ō’ō, Godec with the help of new technologies try to digitally preserve or archive this island, for future generations to experience.

If you listen carefully, you can hear a birdsong. It’s the haunting beauty of a love song lost amidst the shrill sounds of commercial exploitation. It is a song by a bird called The Kaua’i ‘ō’ō from a family of Australian-Pacific honeyeaters. This species is now extinct due to habitat destruction, however, the related cause for extinction was human intervention. What you are hearing does not exist anymore; it’s a song last heard in 1987. The bird is all alone, the last of its kind, calling for a female that will never come.

Searching for oo By Miha Godec
Searching for oo By Miha Godec

Year: 2023

Technical and development support: Ziga Pavlovic

Technology: 360 VR video 

Production: Artevida

Supported by: School of Arts – University of Nova Gorica