The Bone

virtual reality, approx. 18 minutes (total experience)

The Bone is an interactive experience in virtual reality inside the skull of a wild salmon, where certain elements and narrations are to be discovered. Profoundly inspired by Dr. Martin Lee Mueller’s book Being Salmon, Being Human, these narrations address ethical and ecological issues related to salmon farming, domestication and coexistence with this species, from a non-anthropocentric, eco-philosophical and indigenous perspective.

Located inside an intermediate world — between deep sea and universe; between present, future or past; between reality, dream or utopia — this skull is a sculptural/architectural construction. The experiencer discovers two otoliths that grow interactively, revealing details about this salmon’s life in the past, as well as reflections towards its cousins: the captive salmons. These reflections are presented as a voice-over from the wild salmon’s perspective; the owner of the skull, in a way of poetic flow of consciousness. The real and virtual space is welcomed by a Yoik sung by Sámi artist Ánde Somby, providing a unique echo and spatiality to this VR, which is physically installed inside an old fishing boat. The materiality of the real old wood sensually echoes the virtual skull, inviting the experiencers to a journey that departs from their position as fisher species, towards the poiesis of the fish’ life.

This artwork has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial, co-produced by Art Republic, OCEANS21 and Interactive Media Foundation; co-created with Artificial Rome.

The Bone has been funded by Fondos Cultura Convocatoria 2020 – Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Chile and Arts Council Norway

The Bone has been kindly supported by Goethe Institut Norway and Chile. A German version is currently in process, thanks to the support from Goethe Institut Norway.


Idea and concept: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Production: Art Republic, OCEANS21 and Interactive Media Foundation
Executive producers: Diana Schniedermeier & Daniela Arriado
Creative directors: Ina Krüger & Dirk Hoffmann
Script: Martin Lee Mueller
Script editing: Michelle-Marie Letelier
Art direction VR: Robert Werner
3D Artist: Christian Rambow
Technical lead: Torsten Sperling
Programming: Dennis Timmermann
Sound design: Christian Barth & Julian Ferreira da Silva
Salmon’s voice: Martin Lee Mueller
Yoik singer: Ánde Somby
Skull: UiB – University of Bergen Natural History Museum
3D scanning: Fredrik M. Salhus, Faculty of Art, Music and Design, UiB; courtesy of Lars Ove Toft, Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts
Scientific advice: Anne Karin Hufthammer, Arild Folkvord, Karin Limburg, Karin Pittman & Johnny Magnussen
Research advice: Prof. Harald Gaski, Ánde Somby, Sápmi Center for Contemporary Art, Karolin Tampere & Daniela Arriado
Project Manager 2019: Florian Köhler


  • Exhibited in 2019 at Fiskepiren Ferry Terminal in the frame of Screen City Biennial, Stavanger, Norway
  • Exhibited virtually in 2020 at Museum of Other Realities, as part of VRHAM! Festival
  • Exhibited in 2021 at ULTRAMARIN, Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, Moscow, Russia
  • Exhibited in 2021 at Prandium, in the frame of I am a Multitude – The Arctic Arts Festival, Harstad, Norway
  • Silje Anette Teigen, master thesis in Museology and Cultural Heritage, on SCB and The Bone, 2020 – view PDF (Eng.)
  • Michael Krautter’s short film The Story Behind The Bone, 2020 – view video (headphones recommended)
  • Martin Lee-Mueller on The Bone, 2019 – view PDF (Eng.)


  • Screen City Biennial – The Bone, article published by La Panera, Dic. 2019
  • Screen City Biennial: Latin America…, article published by ArtNexus, Nov. 2019
  • Screen City Biennial – The Bone, article published by Taz Newspaper, Oct. 2019
  • Screen City Biennial – The Bone, article published by Rogaland Avis, Oct. 2019
  • Screen City Biennial – The Bone, article published by Byas Newspaper, Oct. 2019
  • Interactive Media Foundation on The Bone, interview published by Artsmania, Sept. 2019
  • Screen City Biennial, announcement published by e-flux, May 2019
  • Screen City Biennial 2019 – Ecologies-Lost, Found and Continued
    Editors: Vanina Saracino, Daniela Arriado & Tanya Toft Ag
    English, Softcover, 173pp, ISBN: 978-82-691000-2-0
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