|Cassandra Herrman,Lauren Mucciolo
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I was struck by the deep and enduring level of psychological and emotional impact extended isolation caused its subjects. “After Solitary” marries rigorous investigative reporting with cutting-edge technology that give users a visceral window into the practice of solitary confinement.
Lauren Mucciolo, co-director, to Docubase
After Solitary is a room-scale volumetric VR experience that tells the story of Kenny Moore, a former inmate of Main State Prison. This piece shares Moore’s intense psychological and emotional experience of spending years in solitary confinement, and the lasting consequences. In After Solitary, Kenny Moore’s voice narrates as users enter a 3D scanned solitary confinement cell to imagine his experience. Moore speaks of the sensory deprivation and hallucinations that came with the isolation, articulating his gradual loss of sanity as he began harming his body, writing words on the walls with his blood, and hearing imaginary voices around him. In this way, this piece deeply captures solitary confinement as an inhumane practice and how it breaks a person down beyond their control.
This piece uses photogrammetry, volumetric video capture, and a video tape of a cell extraction, in which prison guards extract a distressed inmate from his cell. This video tape marks the climactic moment of the film, demonstrating how Kenny Moore’s story is not just one unique case nor is this story just a VR experience, but a harrowing reality faced by thousands of incarcerated people today. After Solitary is also a 360-video experience available online.