Imagine as one journeys through a vast deserted landscape, mosquitoes begin to rapidly swarm and endlessly say: Where are you really from? Wow your German is so good. You look so exotic!

DEBUG is a virtual reality (VR) installation that allows participants to virtually experience the discomfort, dissonance, and disturbance of racial microaggressions. Expressed often as frequent verbal or behavioural attacks, intentionally or not, microaggressions communicate derogatory attitudes towards stigmatized people. The experience also creates a space to proactively reflect on one’s own bias, to learn empathy for stigmatized individuals, and to deconstruct racist systems.

The VR experience started as a mid-term project by Dario Morazán and Theodora Karagianni in MXL’s “VRenice Beach: Desert Feel / Reel Estate”. The goal was to create a surreal virtual reality experience reflecting on the theme of “desert feel”. Through VR’s interchanging perspectives, the topic of racial microaggressions was addressed. Tupoka Ogette’s book “Exit Racism” and her concept of “Happyland” are the theoretical base of the VR project.

DEBUG will be exhibited at re:publica festival, 8-10 June, 2022 in Arena Berlin.

For further information please click.


Concept & VR Experience: Dario Morazán Irias
Installation Design: Theodora Karagianni
Identity & Art Direction: Byron Co
Sound Design: Jason Gavalas

Köln International School of Design
Image and Motion Department / MXL
Supervised by Prof. Nina Juric
Technical Support: Marko Bodenstein & Pasha Eghtesadi Bahrami