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1,000 Cut Journey (2018)

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World Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival 2018

Achieving racial justice requires that we understand racism. Not only an understanding that emerges from intellectual exercise or even in the consumption or production of science – but rather a visceral understanding that connects to spirit and body as much as reason.

1000 Cut Journey is an Immersive Virtual Reality experience in which participants embody a Black male, Michael Sterling, experiencing racism as a child through disciplinary action in the classroom, as an adolescent encountering the police, and as a young adult experiencing workplace discrimination.

1000 Cut Journey supports the perspective shift needed to more meaningfully, honestly and deeply engage issues of race and racism.

This project is the result of a years-long collaboration with the Cogburn Research Group at Columbia University

Funded by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Download Instructions for Non-Commercial Use

1000 Cut Journey is now available for free download for non-commercial use only. In downloading the piece you agree to the following:

  • Agreement to a Creative Commons license. You may also find additional information here.
  • Agreement to cite this work in any papers if used for research purposes. See below for citation.

Click here to download 

Important Notes about the Experience

  • The user will be able to walk around and interact with the virtual world around them. Please be sure the area is free of any objects or trip hazards.
  • Interactive objects will highlight. Hold the trigger button to pick items up and release the back trigger button to let go.
  • At times, users will be asked to sit or kneel, we encourage them to do so if they are comfortable.
  • Make sure to spot the user throughout the experience.
  • Throughout the piece users will experience different forms of racism and discrimination. This can be especially triggering for Black people and people who have had similar experiences. Please ensure you inform all users of the nature of the experience and please take the headset off if at any moment the user becomes uncomfortable.

Technical Information

Virtual Reality Headsets:

  • Recommended VR Headsets: Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest Pro

Additional information:

  • Runtime: ~12 min
  • Required: 12 x 12 unobstructed, open tracking space


Cogburn, C.D., Bailenson, J.N., Ogle, E., Asher, T. & Nichols, T. (2018). 1000 cut journey. ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality, DOI: