Embark on the story of Mercedes Viñales, the grandmother of artist Flako Jimenez, whose immigration journey to America and descent into dementia presents a powerful story of caregiving, love, loss, and resilience.
The VR experience––one part of an expansive multi-format work––immerses its viewer in a multisensory medium with a poetic, visually stunning recreation of Mercedes’ Bushwick home. Mercedes VR unlocks the capacity of this technology to amplify community outreach, spread the word about mental healthcare resources for those struggling with similar circumstances, and captivate all audiences with a poignant story of matriarchal influence and multigenerational care.
MAXMachina Artist Profile
Flako Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised, multi-hyphenate artist. As a poet, playwright, educator, actor, producer, and director his work exists in and explores the intersections of identity, language, mediums, cultures, and communities found in his personal life and beyond. Jimenez’s art addresses the social and political changes affecting the Latin American communities in his Bushwick neighborhood. His 2021 play, Taxilandia, draws on his nine years of experience driving a taxicab in New York City and his documentation of conversations with passengers, residents, locals, and immigrants. He has worked with companies all over the country, including La Jolla Playhouse, Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, and he founded and is the Artistic Director of Oye Group. Jimenez also works as a Community Programmer at The Bushwick Starr and a professor at Sarah Lawrence College and leads poetry and theater workshops for teens through Oye Group.
Writer & Creator Flako Jimenez
Director Kevin Torres
3D Designer & VR Creator Ker Chen
VR Consultant Matt McCorkle
Scientific Advisor Dr. Nicola S. Clayton
Tech & Materials World-building and VR programming in Unreal Game Engine,
3D scans in MatterPort and PolyCam, Volumetric Video Capture in Evercoast
Additional support for Mercedes, Episode 1, provided by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)