yang-yin
cosmos-dengI gave a talk about Metaphors of Presence at the Sandbox Immersive Festival in Qingdao, China where I talked about how Chinese Philosophy insights about the balance between Yang and Yin could help describe the fundamental tensions in immersive and interactive storytelling. I told the audience that the West really understands the Yang Archetypal Journey through Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and I proposed that Eastern Cultures and China would likely have a lot of insight as to what the corresponding Yin Archetypal Journey might look like.

In response to my invitation for cross-cultural dialogue, Cosmos Deng came up to me afterwards to share his insights into how Taoist and Buddhist describe an path of ego disillusionment, some corresponding contemplative practices, and how the myths of the Eastern cultures can be seen as tragic. If the exalted individuation of heroic ego is the goal, then a king feeding himself to a tiger can certainly be read as tragic. But Deng says that it’s more about revealing the illusions of self, the interconnection and interdependence of all beings, and a much more passive and receptive sense of embodied presence and being. He shares a lot of deep insights into presence, consciousness, the nature of reality, how he sees that some of these Taoist & Buddhist ethics have been already showing up in Western entertainment through The Matrix and the reboot of Westworld, and why VR as a medium is perfectly well-suited to explore some of these contemplative practices and principles.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

david-jiangTPCast is a Chinese company that was one of the first in the world to provide a wireless VR peripheral solution that could viably eliminate the cable tether of a VR HMD. I talk with co-founder David Jiang at CES 2017 about some of the early solutions for creating wireless VR.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

cy-zhou Visbit is a B2B, 360-video streaming distribution company based out of Silicon Valley, and co-founder and CEO CY Zhou is originally from China. I caught up with CY at CES 2017 to talk about some of the basic streaming services and application SDK that Visbit provides to 360 filmmakers who want to distribute immersive video content on-demand.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/d1icj85yqthyoq.cloudfront.net

lisa-zhaoThe VR hardware ecosystem in China is fairly self-contained, and Nolo VR ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring 6DoF hand tracking to mobile VR headsets, but also giving access to your SteamVR library through your mobile phone.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

lin-chen
thorbjorn-olsenThe Nordic Trolls is a VR development company based in Beijing, China. I had a chance to catch up with the CEO Thorbjørn Olsen (originally from Norway) and co-founder Lin Chen at CES 2017 to talk about the VR ecosystem in China, the different ways in which the youth of China are changing relative to the older generations, and their development process on Karnage Chronicles.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

jenny-guoLumièreVR’s Jenny Guo is building bridges between the East and West through virtual reality. She’s producing 360 content for the Netflix of China, & she’s a consultant building cross-cultural collaborations & helping companies navigate the VR ecosystems of China & North America.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

eddie-louEddie Lou is the founder of Sandman Studios in Beijing, and he is also the founder of the Sandbox Immersive Festival that took place in Qingdao China on June 23-27, 2018. I was able to travel to Qingdao for the festival, and the next seven podcasts will be focusing on some of my take-aways about VR in China.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

Danielle Perszyk is a cognitive scientist, and co-founder and lead scientist at Oscillations who is using neuroscience theory of synchrony in order to make predictions for how to direct attention and tell stories using body and gestures without any traditional narrative components. We explore her research as well as the fundamental nature of consciousness through a debate and dialectic where she represents the tradition of Aristotle & empirical science where I represent the tradition of Plato mathemathics, and Platonic metaphysics. Consciousness is one of the biggest open questions in science, and it is possible that virtual reality may provide new empirical ways to test different strategies for operationalizing consciousness.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This conversation was informed by the recent article in Scientific American titled “Coming to Grips with the Implications of Quantum Mechanics,” which argues that mind could be a fundamental part of reality rather than simply emergent from physical reality. Specifically, the delayed-choice quantum observer experiment seems to show anomalous retrocausal behavior where a quantum measurement of an entangled particle in the future seems to impact it’s state in the past. Ashok Narasimhan & Menas C. Kafatos propose a framework that has an observer with non-local consciousness that is able to make a quantum measurement. The entire community of scientists are still trying to reckon what the mathematics of quantum mechanics says about the nature of reality, but some more panpsychic, idealistic, and cosmopsychic explaination that are from the Platonic tradition seem to potentially coming back into favor.

Here is the keynote that I gave at the beginning of the VRTO conference in Toronto that gives some more context for this discussion.

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

glenn-contaveOur stores of the past shape our future. There is a growing movement to use augmented reality technologies to reclaim suppressed histories by creating site-specific AR art installations that challenge institutionally-backed narratives. Glenn Cantave’s Movers and Shakers has created an AR experience that recontextualizes Christopher Columbus’ human rights abuses through creating iconic imagery that associates the traditional American colonial symbols with slavery, violence, and genocide. Cantave is leading a grassroots effort to remove the Christopher Columbus Statue in the middle of Manhattan, and has plans to expand their site-specific AR piece into a city-wide, holographic museum that regains control over the overarching narrative of Black history.

Movers and Shakers will also soon be releasing an augmented reality statue memorializing Colin Kaepernick that can be triggered by the map on a subway car. Micah Miller of Art 404 Contributed the Colin Kaepernick Statue to the cause, & Cantave had the idea for using the subway map as the image target.

This AR app will be a part of their effort to raise money and awareness for a separate ballot initiative that would assign a cultural heritage representative within the New York City government to provide a voice that could advocate for more representation in the histories that are being taught in schools. This ballot initiative would also implement a participatory budgeting process using Stable Coin blockchain currency, which could be a pilot implementation that catalyzes change around the country towards using blockchain technologies for a more participatory democracy.

I talked with Cantave

Indigenous Futurist Jason Edward Lewis told me that the mythology of America is that we think that we can escape our past. Cantave responded to this myth by saying that Black Americans can’t escape the past, and they’re still living with the consequences of the past with all of the various human rights abuses and racial inequality that Black Americans are facing — which catalyzed the #BlackLivesMatter movement as well as NFL protests.

There are unconscious shadow elements to the history that America tells itself, and it’s possible that this inability to honestly reckon with the past is in part of what’s leading to today’s current polarization in the US. Cantave is advocating for speaking the truth, and to use the engagement and contextual immersion of AR to start to challenge mainstream symbols of colonial power. Statues are cultural symbols that represent a collective sentiment, and Cantave feels that it’s time to fully acknowledge the truth of the harm done and injustices committed by making a collective decision to remove the Christopher Columbus statue in Manhattan. I spoke with Cantave at the VRTO conference in Toronto, Canada on Sunday, June 18th, 2018.

Movers and Shakers is looking for funding and help to build these types of racial justice immersive experiences, and so get in touch if you’d like to help out.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/d1icj85yqthyoq.cloudfront.net

robin-arnottSound Self developer Robin Arnott is starting a publishing label named Orpheus Technodelics to curate and distribute consciousness hacking VR experiences. “Technodelics” are digital psychedelics that provide peak experiences, and Arnott hopes till open someone’s mind commit to deeper contemplative practices. He sees that spiritual traditions are steeped in level of tradition and seriousness that is a turn-off for a lot of people, and that he hopes to use the insights of game design in order to make transcendent experiences more readily available through virtual reality.

Arnott has been working on the Sound Self for over six years now, and he’s hoping to tap into the larger mindfulness market with other type types of similar immersive, consciousness hacking experiences. He’s working with visionary artist Android Jones whose MicroDose VR is a psychedelic particle painting program that cultivates flow states, as well as a mobile app called Breathscape, which helps cultivate regular breathing practices.

I talk to Arnott about the consciousness hacking movement founded by Mikey Siegel, his concept of what constitutes a VR “technodelic,” balancing peak experiences with the cultivation of spiritual practices using technology, takeaways from his GDC talk on designing a trance meditation game, and how he navigates his personal mission and role in helping tell the larger story and potential of transcendent technology and it’s connection to the larger mindfulness market and ecosystem.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality


Support Voices of VR

Music: Fatality & Summer Trip