Ali Eslami is an award-winning Iranian virtual reality developer who has recently taken an artist residency in Amsterdam in order to continue his speculative design of a virtual city. Eslami’s premiered False Mirror at the International Documentary Filmfestival of Amsterdam’s DocLab this year, where he created a number of different speculative futures in a modular virtual city that explores concepts of scale, identity, embodiment, and temporality through dynamic architecture. His previous experience of Death Tolls was an immersive visualization of over 300,000 body bags to represent the death toll in Syria, which won the DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction award in 2016.
I had a chance to catch up with Eslami at the IDFA DocLab to talk about what it takes to become a virtual reality developer from Iran, become self-taught through the Internet, creating immersive projects with Unreal Engine, and his speculative design process to explore the phenomenology of a post-human sci-fi future.
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