Designer | Artist Patrick Donaldson
Year 2017

The Aztec mythology claims that when someone dies, they wake up in the lowest level of hell. It is up to the living to remember and transfer energy to the deceased through prayers, song and dancing. With this flow of energy, the dead person’s soul can roam through the world he is trapped in, and attempt to find the exit to the next level of hell. He must travel through the seven levels of hell to reach heaven. If the deceased does not find the way, or the living do not feed enough energy into the afterlife, the soul will remain trapped in hell forever, roaming aimlessly. Ximoan is a collaborative experience based on this Aztec belief. Combining virtual reality with physical reality, one player must take the place of the recently deceased while the other must embody the shaman. The dead player lies down on the wooden hammock and experiences his travel in the afterlife. The virtual trip will depend entirely on the skills of the shaman. Unlike the deceased, the shaman is in the real world and must play an ancient Aztec instrument called the teponaztli. Depending on how well the indicated rhythm is followed, the experience of the deceased will change, and ultimately, the wandering soul may reach heaven or not.