#1111: Tribeca XR: Panel on Making a Difference with Immersive Non-Fiction Stories

I moderated a Tribeca Talks Panel discussion on “Making a Difference with Immersive Non-Fiction Stories” that on Sunday, June 12, 2022 where we focused on the structure and forms of immersive storytelling, and then reflected on the challenges and opportunities for creating and distribute immersive stories for social good.

The panel featured the following panelists:

  • Meghna Singh (co-creator of Container) [See Voices of VR Episode #1005 on Container from Venice 2021]. She’s a researcher and visual artist based in South Africa, and visual anthropologist with a focus on migration and immersive arts.
  • Ingrid Kopp, based in South Africa and runs non-profit organization called Electric South across Africa to help develop, produce, and distribute VR & AR.
  • Brenda Longfellow (co-creator of Intravene) Documentary filmmaker out of Toronto, linear filmmaker, interactive doc, working with communities doing co-creation, immersive audio set in an overdose prevention site in Vancouver collaborated with Darkfield and Crackdown
  • Glen Neath (co-creator of Intravene) co-founder of Darkfield who is making binaural audio pieces for shipping containers, & making shows for Darkfield Radio App since the Pandemic
  • Charlie Park (producer of Please, Believe Me), background in sculpture and Film, and has been working for Emblematic Group making VR & AR content since 2017


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

Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast, a podcast that's looking at the structures and forms of immersive storytelling and the future of spatial computing. If you enjoy the podcast, please consider supporting it at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. So today's episode is a panel discussion that I moderated at Tribeca called Making a Difference with Immersive Nonfiction Stories. And so it was a blend of three different projects with five different panelists from each of those different projects representing it. One was a stereoscopic 180-degree cinematic VR piece called Container, which I've covered previously on the podcast. as well as The Dark Field, which is doing a lot of spatialized audio. They have a piece called Intervene that they did in collaboration with Brenda Longfellow, who's a documentary filmmaker, as well as Crackdown. They're on the front lines of reporting on the war on drugs through the context of working in these overdose clinics. And then the final piece is the latest piece from Emblematic Group and Nani de la Peña called Please Believe Me with Charlie Park, who is representing Emblematic Group with that. And that's an interactive documentary within the context of virtual reality. So a lot of different structures and forms of immersive storytelling that we're covering in the first half of this panel and in the second half we're talking about impact campaigns and how to make a difference with immersive nonfiction stories. So that's what we're coming on today's episode of voices of VR podcast. So this panel discussion with myself, Minga, Ingrid, Brenda, Glenn, and Charlie happened on Sunday, June 12th, 2022 at the Tribeca immersive in New York city, New York. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in. Hello, everybody. Welcome to this panel discussion. Today, we're going to be talking about making a difference with immersive nonfiction stories. My name is Kent Bye. I do the Voices of VR podcast, and I'm happy to be facilitating a conversation here with a number of different creators that are being featured here at the Tribeca Immersive. So maybe we could first start with everybody introducing themselves and the project that you have here and a little bit of your background in terms of what you're bringing into this space. So we'll just go down the line here.

[00:02:14.441] Meghna Singh: Hi, I'm Meghna Singh. I am a researcher and a visual artist. I have a PhD in visual anthropology with a focus on migration and immersive arts. I'm from New Delhi, but Cape Town's home. I've lived in South Africa for the last 12 years. My recent body of work focuses on the theme of migration, oceanic mobilities, hidden processes of capitalism, historic and contemporary, and Container is our first virtual reality piece.

[00:02:45.489] Ingrid Kopp: Hi, I'm Ingrid Karp. I'm also based in South Africa. My background, I've actually worked in immersive and interactive media for a long time. I actually used to work for Tribeca programming immersive here, and I used to work at the Tribeca Film Institute heading up the interactive department there. So I've got lots of connections to the space, and it's really great to be back in another capacity. And now in South Africa, I run a nonprofit organization called Electric South, and we work with interdisciplinary artists across the continent to help to develop and produce and distribute immersive work, mostly virtual and augmented reality at the moment, and we worked with Meghna.

[00:03:23.395] Brenda Longfellow: Hi, welcome everybody, lovely to see you. Let me just say we're thrilled to be at Tribeca. This is the first time, this was a collaboration between three community groups, so we were always crossing time zones, Vancouver, the UK, and this is the first time we've actually met in the flesh. with V as well, so we're very happy to be here. I'm happy to be here with real people, not just Zoom people. My name is Brenda Longfellow. I'm a documentary filmmaker out of Toronto. My practice, I've been a linear filmmaker for a long period and then kind of jumped into interactive doc. And now a lot of my practice is working with different communities, so doing a lot of co-creation. I have another large project in Vancouver with formerly incarcerated women that we're just about to launch in the fall. And this was a really amazing community collaboration One of our collaborators is Crackdown on Intravene. So Intravene is the immersive audio project downstairs that's set in an overdose prevention site in Vancouver. So spent a year in Vancouver working with Crackdown, who are our community partners, and Garth Mullins, who's the executive director, a producer at Crackdown. Just so you know, he would be here, but because he is a convicted felon for drug possession, he is not allowed into America. And of course the architecture of the drug war policies is something that happened here and then was exported worldwide. So this has been a really intriguing collaboration with Darkfield.

[00:04:58.148] Glen Neath: My name's Glenn Neath and I'm one of the directors of Darkfield. We've been a company for about six years or so, beginning making binaural audio only pieces in completely dark shipping containers. And then when the pandemic hit, we pivoted and started making shows for our Darkfield radio app, which is probably why, well, it's certainly why we're here because, you know, we've been sort of recognized by the XR community because people have been able to access our work much easier than when we've only had the shipping container model. So yeah, so we've been making this project with Brenda and with Crackdown. Yeah, it's very exciting to be here.

[00:05:31.892] Charlie Park: Hi, my name is Charlie Park. I come from a background of sculpture and film, but I've been working for Emblematic Group, making VR and AR content since 2017. I'm here with the piece Please Believe Me, which is an interactive documentary about Lyme disease. And yeah, happy to be here. Thank you for coming.

[00:05:52.132] Kent Bye: So yeah, there's two big themes here in this panel discussion. One is to explore the structures and forms of immersive storytelling, and then The other part is for social impact, and so bridging those gaps between those two. So I wanted to start first with the structures and form, because each of your projects with Container and Intervene and Please Believe Me are using different structures and form of a medium. And so maybe for folks that are in the audience that haven't seen the pieces, maybe you could introduce the project and what you're pulling together with all the different influences of installation art and spatial audio and different forms and functions of immersive storytelling in VR.

[00:06:30.671] Meghna Singh: Container is physical installation, it's virtual, it's constructed realities, and it's documented realities, all set inside a shipping container. And container connects historical slavery to modern-day servitude to capitalism. I think that's the underlying concept. And it's a 180 3D piece, which takes the audience on a journey in an ever-morphing shipping container where the past becomes the present, the invisible people become visible. And so here it's been installed for the first time as an installation where you feel like you're entering a shipping container and there's a man stuffing boxes. For New York, we made it specific to New York City and if Playing on the contemporary and the historical, if you focus on the shipping stickers, that details the 186 slave ships that left New York City Harbor. So I think Container is about historical and contemporary slavery and capitalism, but we want to bring it home to the city and also make people realize New York's involvement in the slave trade historically. Yeah, so that's the piece. It's about witnessing the Indus Lai's people who enable our consumerist society, feeding into this vast capitalist structure. I mean, it's a big premise, but it's a 16-minute piece, and we've tried to consolidate that. It's extremely intimate. Being a first-time virtual reality piece creator, we saw a lot of virtual reality pieces, and what inspired us most was the YouTube girlfriend experience, where, you know, there's a girl who'll be next to you and she passes you a drink, but I think that kind of intimacy is, like, it's spooked us out, but it was something we actually use in containers, so if you go and experience it, you realize proximity and the visceral nature of being very close to the subjects. What we're trying to do is basically make sure you can't turn away. So you go to that entire experience and these characters are in your face. Yeah.

[00:08:35.703] Kent Bye: Yeah, I wanted to just reflect on, because I just had a chance to see it again, just for folks that may have not seen it, just to help paint what I see is interesting about using the medium of cinematic virtual reality. So it's a 180 degree cinematic VR. So you have stereoscopic view, but you're kind of using the spatial context of the container and having that as a motif throughout the entire piece. And so you're able to connect the dots between sugar and then cutting to a sugar cane field. So there's a way in which that the VR technologies can start to connect the relational dynamics between things that are invisible. making those invisible things seen, but through the context of that container. And so I really appreciated how, as you switch in between the different scenes, you see a wide variety of different types of modern-day slavery, a survey in that way. So I can definitely see a lot of the influences of the visual anthropology, but also aspects of the installation art, because each one of those containers, I could imagine you setting up each of those containers to be just an immersive art experience as you go through and go into them, but with the virtual reality medium, specifically the cinematic VR, you're able to have the ability to create it once and then capture it and then share it to people. Using the medium to immerse people into that, but using a lot of poetic metaphors to connect the dots between this is an issue.

[00:09:51.048] Ingrid Kopp: I think also, just one thing to add to that, one of the things that we really believe in really strongly at Electric South is if you bring people from different disciplines, different artistic disciplines into the VR space, they bring a really different process and way of thinking about what VR can do to that space, and that's one of the things that's been so exciting for me, so working with Simon Wood, who's the co-director, who is incredibly visually, like his background is cinema and he thinks very cinematically and then Meghna's background is both academic and as an installation artist and seeing how they would collaborate in VR was really exciting and I think for us that's one of the things that I think is really still very exciting about this space is how those people bring different mediums into VR and then you see that in the VR and the way that people use space and those connections and I still see Contain and Get Goosebumps because I can see that, I can see Meghna and Simon's practice in VR.

[00:10:46.514] Kent Bye: Yeah, there's certainly a lot of interdisciplinary fusion between each of these pieces and so as we move on to Intervene you have the traditional 2D documentary filmmaking background mixed with the dark field which has traditionally been doing a lot of spatialized audio and exploring narratives and horror genres, I'd say, and then with Paradise, South by Southwest, starting to blend in more documentary elements, but this seems to be more of a center of gravity of a documentary piece through and through, but still some onboarding into the experience because, and spatialized audio, because it's just, you're listening, you have to explain what the context is and have different ways of breaking the fourth wall in some ways. I noticed just by listening to the piece again this morning that You're entered into this space, and then you're addressed as a character to help understand what's going on. And then you slip into more of a experience of the space, observing more of a cinema verite documentary where you're listening to the environments and then popping up to hear different voiceovers. But I really appreciated the structure of spatial audio documentary that you're starting to suss out how do you explain to the audience where we're at in this story. So I'd love to hear a little bit more about that process of trying to figure out how to tell a story that you're telling of this clinic that's trying to help people who are in the context of drug overdose, and then blending the different structures and form of storytelling to create what was Intervene.

[00:12:12.427] Brenda Longfellow: Yeah, so the project emerged out of a UK-Canada immersive exchange, and that was between Story Futures and the Canadian Media Fund. And it was six Canadian creatives were picked. I was lucky enough to get picked, and six UK creatives producers were picked, and we did a lot of workshops, and it was a great COVID saver. It was like, oh, thank God, I have something interesting to do in COVID. And it was a bit of speed dating, so we met and talked. He had to find a partner. And so I met Andrea Salazar, who's a producer at Darkfield, and we really hit it off. What I really loved about Darkfield was they were prepared to take a jump into factual. It wasn't something that they'd done before, because as you said, it's usually written. Glenn's one of the writers with Darkfield, and this was a big leap. So it took, I think, these kind of projects, and it's interesting to hear you talk about collaboration and bringing little interdisciplinary perspectives into it. So we had very different cultures. There was also the culture of Crackdown, who are drug user activists, and they describe the podcast that they do, and there's a linear version of some of the material that we used, which is now in the form of a podcast. And they call themselves war reporters reporting from the front line of the war on drugs. And so they come out of a very powerful activist community. And the drug user activist community is really one that coined that phrase, nothing about us without us, which has now been picked up by... It's pretty core. to social movements today, that it's not that extractivist mode of somebody going in and doing something about somebody else, is no longer a model that I think is sustainable. And that when you're doing these kind of projects, especially with what some people refer to as marginalized, vulnerable communities, you have to do a lot of relationship building. So the first step was really to get these cultures talking to each other, and we spent a long time just on Zoom talking, talking about where we're coming from, talking about the very distinctive kind of processes, building a collaboration contract. Really, it took a long time. to try to really meticulously do this. And then Crackdown did the field recordings in an overdose prevention site, and they have their version which follows a kind of love story, but Glenn and Darkfield were really wanting to take it somewhere else. And the tension, I think, was really about linear versus immersive and how you can be inside a space.

[00:14:36.922] Glen Neath: Yeah, we never wanted to hijack it at all. We always wanted to tell the story of the people that were the drug users. So most of our shows, we're not really particularly interested in telling stories. Ultimately, we are, but we never start with a story. We don't think we want to write a story about this. We just basically have a series of parameters that we work within. You know, with shipping container, we want to put some beds in it. That's the starting point. How do we start to create a story out of that? And with this, it was a bit like, OK, so we have all these words and we have all these interviews that were given to us and we have all these field recordings. But how do you put those together and make them something other than just people being interviewed? And so we kind of moved away from that in the end. And we concentrated on one character who ran the space. And we sort of, as you said, he sort of talks to you directly. And it's basically him talking to you. And then there's a series of events that are happening inside this prevention, overdose prevention site. which just sort of becomes, you feel as if you're involved with. So for me it was about how do we not just do the podcast version, how do we make something that feels as if the audience member is in it, which is what we always start with. How can we make the audience member the protagonist in the drama? And I think we traditionally, I mean this is slightly unusual, this show, in that we do ask the audience member to associate with an action. I won't go into it if you've not heard it. So we try to ask them to understand that they've partaken in an action. Traditionally in our shows, we don't ask the audience to do anything. We never assign them a role. We basically put them in a situation and then we create a narrative around them. And they respond as themselves and not as a character, which I think is key to our thing, which is different from VR in that in VR, you're in another world. For me, you always kind of understand that you're in another world. Whereas with ours, shows, we try to put you in a world and then we try to, blur the boundaries between what you think is happening in the space with you. That was a bit, I went off on one there, sorry.

[00:16:31.182] Kent Bye: Yeah, I just wanted to reflect also on this piece of Intervene of how you're really being immersed into a spatial audio context, like the audio field of this environment where it feels a little bit like a war zone where there's all this stuff, people, an overdose, and there's dogs barking. And I feel like the way that the piece is structured is that you're able to create a minimal audio field and kind of add different elements and say, oh, there's a dog here, and this is what the dog is doing, and this is why the dog is there. You're in that spatial context, but then you pop up and then give some explanation about what's happening. And so sometimes it's just a voiceover, but sometimes you isolate just that voice to really focus on what that person is saying. And then other times you go into another higher reality that's just more of a meta. poetic narrative that's blending and blurring of those different realities. And so just so how you're able to be immersed into the audio soundscape, but switch between these different contexts that allow you to tell the story. And for me, have that feeling of an experience of being in this place and understand about what is happening in that place. Whereas if I would have just gone to the place, I wouldn't have understand the larger story of what was that. So I feel like you're able to blend all those things together really quite well for that.

[00:17:40.645] Glen Neath: I mean, the field recordings are wonderful. It's that sort of things you could never write and you could never make. You just put the head in, the binaural microphones into the space and you hear all this stuff going on. It's just, it's great.

[00:17:51.733] Brenda Longfellow: I mean, we also, David Rosenberg, who's not here, he is working on a dark field show in Brooklyn, but he is a genius sound editor. I mean, he's just an incredible sound editor. So all of those layers are working with interviews that were done in a studio with the binaural head that we created. and mixing it with the ambient sound location sound that we recorded in the OPS, and then adding actors who kind of whisper in your ear, which is about that direct address to the auditor that Glenn was talking about.

[00:18:23.407] Kent Bye: Awesome, well that's probably a good transition point to Please Believe Me, and that using the structure and form of the virtual reality, so it's a unity-based interactive. There's ways that you can engage with this scene, but maybe you could help set the story and the context of Please Believe Me, and then we'll break down a little bit and then open it up further.

[00:18:44.219] Charlie Park: Yeah, so Please Believe Me addresses and discusses different controversies surrounding Lyme disease, specifically long Lyme, which is a lot easier to explain now that everyone or most people are familiar with the concept of long COVID. And we try and approach the different and systemic issues through the retelling of a personal story, the struggle of this woman called Vicky Logan, and how she eventually succumbed to Lyme disease. And so by rooting it in her personal difficulties, but also the ways in which she tried to navigate the labyrinth insurance and medical industry, we use immersive techniques, like it's a six degree freedom walk around piece, but we use like photogrammetry lots of different techniques, but also to try and give the user agency. I guess I really liked what you were saying about immersion and agency, because I feel like VR is the most effective rhetorical device that we have. So making users feel like they're in the scene and then allowing them to interact with the world triggers in a lot of people a stronger emotional response than most traditional media. And in that way, we hope to explain to people what happened to this lady, Vicky Logan, and explain some of the issues around Lyme disease in that way.

[00:20:00.134] Kent Bye: Yeah, when I went to this piece, what I experienced was you're embedded into the spatial context of a medical doctor's office or you have a box of insurance papers that you can sift through and it's immersing you into the horrors of not only the health insurance economics and all the horrors of the existing privatized health insurance dimensions here in the United States, but also the fact that for so long Lyme disease was kind of like a mysterious puzzle. And so you're using the puzzle metaphor as you are advancing into each stage of the chapter, you're picking up a puzzle piece and putting it into it. So you're in this metaphoric journey of trying to piece the puzzle pieces together for all these different symptoms that don't have a clear explanation. And so it's like this struggle of not knowing all these things and feeling like you're being gaslit by the medical establishment of not knowing what's happening. They can't name it. And as you go through that, it's like you're going through the labs, immersing you into the behind the scenes of something that you wouldn't always see as an individual, but you're going from many different perspectives and characters from the doctors, from the medical labs. And I felt like as a journey, it gave me this immersive experience of not only the confusion, but also the frustration of trying to get clarity of this as an issue.

[00:21:12.821] Charlie Park: Absolutely. And that's super intentional as well. You know, there are moments where there's a sort of tension between wanting the user to know what to do, but then to also feel the confusion of someone who's being told, no, you're not sick, whose truth is being denied in a way. And so one of the ways we tried to deal with that is this sort of tension between a physicality. All those medical documents are her actual medical documents from the 80s and 90s, which we scanned and then placed into the piece. For me, I really like the tension between the physicality and the metaphorical aspect, which is this sort of puzzle which is made using Quill, which is kind of like a VR drawing or painting program to create metaphors. And so, yeah, I guess sometimes we're very intentional in trying to create emotional responses in the user because we think that's sometimes the most effective way to change someone's mind.

[00:22:05.788] Meghna Singh: It's interesting they spoke about agency because what Container does is it doesn't allow the audience any agency. And I think it's why we decided to do that is we as consumers or just citizens of the world have always had agency in making our choices. And I think in that piece, it's 180, it's not 360. And it was like, you're going to sit here and there's that intimacy. And for 16 minutes, we are going to take you on this journey where you're not allowed to turn away. because it's very easy to like wear your Nike trainers and not think about it. But you know how like from a sugarcane plantation to a colonial household, but then we play on the idea that the man from the sugarcane plantation is actually buried under the carpet in the colonial mansion, you know, that kind of symbolism of like, what are these houses built on? And the sweatshop and the drowning. I think there was a lot of talk. I remember Ingrid always saying, we have to take care of the audience. I think coming from a place like India and South Africa, we have to take care of the audience. Of course, we have to. And especially thinking about a European audience, or Americans, or the audience from the global north. And so what's not seen is there's nothing obviously violent at all in any of the scenes. Everything is suggested. But what we didn't want the audience to do is have an agency in the 16 minutes.

[00:23:24.615] Glen Neath: I think just to say agency, I suppose, I mean, for us in particular, because we're only using sound, if you don't, people think as if they're sitting in the dark listening to a radio play. So we try and work this line where it feels as if, it feels very live because the audience feel as if they're being interacted with at all times. So you may have some, but of course it's all recorded and they're motionless because they're in the dark and they're mute because they're only being spoken to by recorded characters. We always want to try and keep the audience feel as if it's a live situation. So that kind of agency, I suppose I'm talking about how people seem to be interacting with you or with people around you to make it feel as if it's happening.

[00:24:00.720] Kent Bye: I think there's certainly different degrees of agency and I think each of the forums have ways of expressing agency in different ways, because there is an ability to look around in the 180 degree video. So you can choose what to look at, but there's no agency that's changing how the story is unfolding. And in none of the pieces that we have in this panel, is there any ability to make a choice that's gonna change the outcome of how the story unfolds. It's all pretty linear, but there's ways to have layers of interactivity that engage you deeper into the metaphor of the puzzle that you're trying to put together. But I'd love to just have a moment of just kind of reflecting on the qualities of presence that you feel like you're able to generate through the mediums that you've chosen in these different pieces, because I think that's the other aspect of these immersive media, is that you feel either the sense of active presence and agency, which I think most of the pieces here are kind of focused on the emotional presence of the story and trying to cultivate a deep immersion within that context. But then you have social dimensions of trying to create a social field. I think the dark fields work and spatial audio gives you the sense of like you're in the room with other people. And then there's embodied presence where I think being able to move around in the, please believe me, you have a sense of having an embodiment where you actually have a character that you're moving around or just the ability to kind of look around the space. But as you've chosen to go into these more immersive media, whether it's the art installations and the cinematic VR or the spatial audio or VR proper, I'd love to hear just some reflections of as you've started to experiment with storytelling in a media that is trying to cultivate these different degrees of presence.

[00:25:34.982] Charlie Park: Well, I actually think that agency is related to that in a way. That's one of the things that I like about allowing the user to do simple interactions, not necessarily to change the story, but to help it move forward. Sometimes I'll work on a 360 piece, and I'll feel a little bit like, you know, when I've watched it too many times, I feel a little bit like I'm stuck in this fishbowl on loop. You know, when you compel the user to bridge that connection between their body and the experience that they're watching, not just through their eyes, but with their hands, with their legs as well, I really think that that does create a stronger sense of embodied presence because it really connects the body with the eyes and the brain. And I think that, I don't know, can sometimes be more compelling. That's one of the reasons why, you know, I would encourage a user to maybe like open a door and walk through it instead of just being rooted in the same space.

[00:26:29.353] Ingrid Kopp: I guess what's interesting you say that because I think it's great that there's such a range of projects here. I think one of the things that I've discovered through years of experimenting with all of these ideas around different kinds of embodiment and different feelings of presence and what that can do is actually how sometimes when people talk about presence and embodiment in VR, they talk about it as if it's one thing. And not just VR, I mean, in many immersive media, but especially in VR, which I mostly work in. And actually, what I've experienced is that you can do so many different things. And actually, I think what's interesting about Container is actually you can't do any of those things, and there is a power in that. You know, part of the feeling is like, what am I doing here? And why can't I do anything? And there is something in that too, which is really, really powerful. And it feels in some way quite uncomfortable, but I think that is really effective. for the piece, for this particular piece, it works really well and actually that discomfort I think is part of what, I don't want to speak for the directors here, but it's part of what makes it so powerful. So I think one of the things that I've really learned to love is that actually within VR there is so much possibility and it often gets reduced in critical discourse.

[00:27:38.275] Kent Bye: Yeah, there's certainly a lot of bearing witness in Container as a practice to not focused on what you can do as an experience, but more of receiving what you've presented in terms of the series of different metaphors and symbols that you've provided to explore this as an issue. So, yeah, any other thoughts?

[00:27:53.572] Brenda Longfellow: Yeah, I was just, I mean, I was really thinking about the vulnerability of bodies, and I think all three of these projects are in some ways dealing with that. And I certainly know in Container, when the child is woken up to put the check mark on the Adidas shoes and you just feel her, she's tired but she doesn't have a choice and you're locked into this kind of ritual. And there's something about the proximity of those bodies. There's something that happens that's weird in VR with perspective, because it's kind of shrinking bodies. But because you know they're real actors set in these situations. I think you have a very different relationship and there's that sense of intimacy and with our project, with Intervene, We had long discussions about the overdose. No one has ever died in an overdose prevention site. Peer workers know what to do. They bring oxygen. They'll give you naloxone. No one has ever died. So the overdose crisis, people dying of overdoses are people who are using it alone and fighting stigma and all the rest of it. And these places are places of sociality. community, and they're the frontline people who are saving lives. But we had these long discussions about, you know, do we do an enactment of a overdose? Do we have an actor do it? How do we do it? In the end, it just did not seem right. it had to be rooted in that kind of documentary intimacy of a real body. So we had Trey, who's the manager of the site, and Gord, who also is a peer worker at the site, do their thing. And it was really just them explaining what they do when someone has an overdose. And someone has an overdose every day or three times a night, they're the ones that are in there saving them. So the impression you get as you're listening, and people often come out of the experience and tell us it's very intense and they had to breathe and they really felt it. that it's not being placed in the shoes, but it's having this kind of experience where you're feeling the vulnerability of a body and that loss of consciousness and that question about whether you will be brought back or not. So that was, I think, one of the intentions of that scene.

[00:30:00.613] Glen Neath: I think that's right, I think that's, normally we would try and put the audience member in the situation, but in this instance, obviously they're not having an overdose, but there's a sort of sense that you're right, it's about trying to get them as close to that as possible, I think. That's what the project seemed to me about and we had so many brilliant interviews with users and people who were in this site and we couldn't use them because it just felt a little bit like we were just listening to people chatting to each other in an interview situation and in the end it just didn't work. So the podcast version is very, very different. That's focused on a different relationship and those interviews just sort of drifted away in the end and it just became about this character trait, about being in the space with this guy, really.

[00:30:40.087] Kent Bye: There's a piece called Six by Nine. The director was talking about how you're immersed into a solitary confinement, and rather than having other people talk about their experiences of solitary confinement, They want to do more of a second-person perspective, so helping you be grounded into that environment. And I think that you were doing that as well as helping you be immersed in that world. And you're there as kind of a ghost-like character, but you're having all the stuff that's being there is helping you explain what's happening in that world so that you get more embodied and present into that space rather than taken out of that space from someone else's experience.

[00:31:11.354] Glen Neath: Yeah, I suppose second-person characters are always difficult because as soon as you address your audience as you, then you're asking them to take on thoughts and feelings that don't belong to them. That's kind of the thing that we try never to do that because it feels a bit like you're immediately going to break the fiction and break the play. So we always try and manipulate how people feel rather than what they think as themselves, you know.

[00:31:34.214] Meghna Singh: I say, as I was listening to him, I was just reminded of the title, Making a Difference with Immersive Nonfiction. And, you know, it might be sort of changing the direction of the discussion, but I always feel like you can create something with an intention that it is going to make a difference, but I feel like if it stays in spaces like this of festivals and museums and galleries, like, how is it really making a difference? And what is the kind of audience and where is that going to end up? A sort of privileged niche market of festival goers. And I think with Container, we made the piece and it's shown in a few places and it was always about taking to public, like a site-specific public installation. It can be next to the harbor or it can be in the city center where you have your subway or your railway line or whatever, where people are passing by every day, just regular people from the city who don't have access or wouldn't want to go to festivals or galleries or can't afford it. And so with Container, we have outreach plan where it's retracing slave trade routes and using that historical route to look at cities like London and many places off the coast of the African continent and America and then putting it there. And will that make a difference also? But it's about access and who is experiencing it and how are we going to make a difference? Are we going to really make much of a difference if it's at Tribeca? I don't know.

[00:32:55.715] Glen Neath: I can vouch for the container model because we tore our containers and we stick them outside at festivals and if there's a big footfall, everybody walks past them and says, what's that? What's in there? And then they'll go and it's like cheap, it's short and they go in and do it.

[00:33:11.214] Kent Bye: Well, yeah, maybe that's a good transition point into the other part of making social impact. And I think we've covered a lot of the structures and form of the mediums that we're each working in. And so I think the challenge is moving into that next phase of actually getting this out into the world. And I know that there's been a number of different types of impact campaigns that different projects have used over the years. And some of your projects are just very new. They're showing here. And maybe you have a plan for that. or maybe you've had experience in the past, but Ingrid, I'd love to hear any thoughts since you're in this space of seeing a number of different projects and maybe help set a larger context for what you've seen as successful in terms of impact campaigns and taking these projects outside of just the festival context and out into the public.

[00:33:52.308] Ingrid Kopp: Sure. Well, I mean, I think one thing to say is you definitely need the festivals and, I mean, our approach has always been to try and mix it up as much as possible because different spaces do different things. I mean, it's wonderful to be at festivals in terms of being part of an industry that supports you, you know, we all need funding, but it's more than that, right, it's also actually having supporters, like people who are like, I've got you, I understand what you're doing, you're amazing, let's put you with this person. So a lot of that is built in festivals, you know, I think festivals aren't just about showing work, they're also about creating community at their best. So there is that side of it but I mean I totally agree, it can't just be that and our models at Electric South are always to try and figure out how to do the festivals because you need that for the reasons I just explained but also for press and all the rest of it and then how to figure out how to actually reach the audiences we want to reach. But one thing I just want to mention is like if we're looking at just making an impact on the distribution and outreach, I think we've already missed a trick. I think one of the issues and this isn't just in immersive media, it's in all media and in all production is actually where the money is being channeled and who's actually getting to make the work in the first place. So I mean it's why we set up Electric South is there were so many projects back in 2015, 2014 that I was starting to see projects being made about Africa in VR. that felt like they were going back to some of the really early quite bad documentary tropes about I'm off to Africa and I'm going to make a film about these people over there and then I'm going to show it in America or Europe or whatever. And I could see that happening again and it just felt like we cannot have this new medium or newish medium just kind of going back and then just making the same mistakes again, but with more immersiveness, with more embodiments. It just felt really wrong. So that's why we set up Electric South to try and get more funding so that African filmmakers and artists could be making this work to see what VR could be like for them. So I think for me, I mean, I have mixed feelings about the whole like impact media discussion, which is, I mean, it's maybe even another panel we could go on for a long time, but I feel very, very strongly that so much of this is also just get people making work, make sure it's global and that, you know, the global south and that we really are truly talking about like an international network because the work will be richer for all of us and I think the making the difference part for me is just, it's literally that. And honestly people could be making a VR piece about butterflies in the back garden and I still think that that would be making a difference because it's actually making sure that people all over the world or in our case in Africa, across Africa, are exploring these tools So that's a way of not answering your question.

[00:36:30.822] Kent Bye: Well, I think that, you know, as I think about the new media technologies, there's new technologies that new capabilities are possible. The artists come in and they make work with that new technology. And then there's the distribution channel, which the film festivals are the first line of that distribution, but there's still a lot of unanswered questions for how to exactly get these pieces of work out into the public. And then there's the final leg, which is the audience seeing the work. And then having some sort of feedback loop so that you are able to have some sense that what you're making is making a difference. And so I guess the impact campaign of what I think about is at least those last two legs of trying to go outside and get it out into the world. But then what are the metrics for success? How do you make sense of that? Charlie, if you've had any other projects with Emblematic Group? Because I know Nani Laupania, the founder of Emblematic Group, has been working on a number of different projects over many, many years. I'm not sure how long you've been there to see different projects and what Nani's approach has been. And by the way, Nani was supposed to be here, but was not able to come. She's not here, unfortunately. So Charlie from Emblematic Group is here. So Charlie, I don't know how much you can speak on behalf of Emblematic Group and this larger issue of producing the work and getting it out into the world.

[00:37:39.893] Charlie Park: Personally, I feel like distributing VR content, especially social impact, is something we've struggled with immensely. A lot of the times when I see these social impact pieces, they are in super privileged environments like film festivals, museums, etc. One thing that we are hoping in the future will help alleviate that solution is WebXR. I honestly think one of the big hurdles to overcome is just the hardware and so when you have like a super cool super mobile installation like a container that you can travel with that's awesome too but I feel like I sort of believe that WebXR could help solve that issue because even if you can't get a headset on I also wonder about like disabled people too like I don't think that there's any code or standard for making VR content like accessible to disabled people either It's definitely to me I think probably the biggest issue with like social impact content is like there's not that many people who watch VR. To me it's kind of like interesting that you brought up metrics because I find VR to be really convincing but not that many people are watching it. And so I guess, I don't know, I guess it depends on how you look at it. I'm not sure if there's a great way to really measure how much impact or effect it actually has. I always sort of struggle with the question, like, what is the effectiveness of personal choices versus, like, systemic policy change? In which cases, you know, maybe festivals are potentially a different route. I'm not sure. I definitely think it's a big issue. We're sort of, I can't speak for Nani 100%, but based on some of our conversations, I'm hoping that WebXR could be a future option.

[00:39:25.241] Kent Bye: And just a quick comment on the WebXR front is once Apple implements a lot of the spec, then we'll have browsers that all have it, but Apple is basically not implementing it, which kind of holds back the entire, that is a distribution channel. But I do agree that that's a hopeful channel, but it then relies upon a big company that for their own business reasons have decided not to implement it yet.

[00:39:44.850] Ingrid Kopp: Yeah and I think that maybe that touches on something that I sort of really strongly believe because I totally agree with you and it really does keep me up at night, it always has. Ever since I started working in the immersive space I'm like, I truly believe in this as a medium. I've seen some incredible pieces that have really just changed me and got me so excited again about the potential but we're not quite there yet in terms of access and how we reach audiences and I mean, honestly, it's a pain in the ass anywhere in South Africa, it's a massive pain in the ass. It's like really hard to get the headsets, they're really expensive, we have to import them, you know, blah, blah, blah, bad internet. But I do believe in it, and I think one of the things that keeps me going is I know things are going to change. I know these technologies are going to evolve, but I do feel like we have to be in the game now so that we can be part of designing what that is going to become. And a lot of the conversations really worry me, they're very dystopian. They seem to be designing for a future that is incredibly inaccessible and exclusionary. And so I guess I'm just like, let's be in the game now, even if it's making 360 pieces, right? It doesn't have to be like these big, complicated, But let's get people exploring, because you never know what they'll do next, and you never know what hardware will be designed in Africa, or who will think, oh, this is interesting, but it's not working in Lagos. So that's kind of how I think about it. I know a lot of this is not totally working now, but I do think the potential is huge, and the potential for bad things to happen is also really huge. But bad things are definitely going to happen if all of this has been designed in Silicon Valley. I think that's a sure bet.

[00:41:13.232] Meghna Singh: I mean, I just want to say Electric South is doing an amazing job and I just have this one memory of, I think it was, I don't know, a few years ago, Ingrid, there's Encounters Film Festival, which is documentary, but Ingrid had managed to set up a virtual reality corner in the public library in Cape Town. and there were these amazing pieces and I remember going there in the middle of the day and I could only see children, mostly teenagers and young children who were basically going to public schools and there was a queue of them and I was like this is amazing, this is just the kind of audience you'd never get watching virtual reality but also that generation was introduced to this technology And like what you're saying about African creatives being given the opportunity to engage and make work and using this technology, but I just had this vision.

[00:41:55.832] Ingrid Kopp: By the way, public libraries are amazing places to show this work. Public libraries are like, they do everything, including VR.

[00:42:04.305] Kent Bye: Just a quick comment on the fact that meta is such a huge influence on the VR industry ends up being that a lot of their curatorial strategies and priorities ends up kind of shaping what does or does not get featured in the store or even on the App Lab. And so it is a distribution channel, but there have been such a historical emphasis on games that the stories have not had as much emphasis. But Darkfield has in some ways been able to circumvent some of that by shipping your own app. so you're able to deliver some of this content by connecting directly with your audiences. And I know you've cultivated an audience through this narrative or horror genre, but I'm just curious if you're going to continue to, as you move forward, use your own self-published application as a way to distribute some of these different pieces, or if you have other plans for how to intervene out into the world.

[00:42:53.351] Glen Neath: The app, I mean, luckily we only use audio, so we still obviously have to get funding, but it's much easier to get funding for what we're doing than for VR. So we were making one container show a year and we were making them very cheap initially where we're working for nothing and we're basically not really doing much of a set for the first one. And, you know, we've built and built and built and we're making one a year. And then when COVID hits and we pivoted to this app. Luckily, David had already been using it on another piece and we just had to do a few little adjustments and we were able to use this app and pretty much get a piece out within two or three months of the lockdown starting. And then since then, we've made 12 pieces over two years. So it's like the exponential rise in the amount of work we've been able to do because we don't have to build a container. We don't have to do all this other design work. So yeah, I mean, you know, audio has been great just because it's cheaper. And also, you know, people can access it easier. Basically, all they need is a phone and a set of headphones. So I think we've always tried to sort of make everything we do accessible. So, you know, the containers, rather than do them in theatres, which our first two shows that me and David made before Dartfield were done in touring theatres. This idea of having a sort of space outside of buildings just seemed to be a really good model to reach more people. You know, as I said, cheap ticket price, run them a number of times a day, short shows, and get a lot of people through. And it just felt like, yes, it's quite accessible to work.

[00:44:15.555] Brenda Longfellow: I should just say we're doing the public launch on June 16th, so people can go to the Darkfield app, download the show, and you can listen to the show wherever, in your car, at home, etc. I mean, we're also talking, we're in negotiations with a couple of spaces to do a container show. So this installation that we did here was really designed for Tribeca. It wasn't an original design that was part of the project. There is something about actually going into a dark space and having this theater experience, which is a pretty extraordinary experience. So we may be replicating that in containers, hopefully in London and Vancouver.

[00:44:51.771] Kent Bye: Yeah, I had a chance to have a press preview of the piece and then watched it again this morning. And there's a subwoofer haptic dimension that I think is definitely worth the embodied experience there. I wanted to open it up for audience questions here in just a moment. So think about any questions that you may want to ask, and then I'll pass it back to the panelists to see if you have, I mean, it sounds like as we've been talking about this as an issue, there's probably more unanswered questions for how to actually make this really work on all the different dimensions. There seems to be a lot of blockers, and so I'd love to hear either from each of you some final thoughts about this as an issue, but if there's any sort of next steps or things for the wider community to start to think about for how to really make this as a situation where there's not so many friction and so many barriers

[00:45:37.301] Meghna Singh: Impact is not an easy answer, is it? Yeah, I mean, my last thoughts would be, I mean, all these works are amazing and need to be seen and experienced in terms of a wider audience and also more inclusive in which other people who are allowed to make more and more work to tell their stories. And I always use Electric South as an example that, you know, in terms of impact, what they're doing, giving creatives the opportunity to tell their stories, artists from communities, from different backgrounds, from the continent, not necessarily with one skill set, is probably the way to go a step forward in making an impact.

[00:46:16.184] Ingrid Kopp: Yeah, I mean, I think it's important that we acknowledge the difficulties in the space, you know, and there are many and some of them are because it's sort of fairly new medium. Some of them are because, you know, there's big companies involved and maybe doing stuff that isn't so helpful. you know, in terms of what we as creatives would want to see. There's lots and lots of issues and I think it's really important that we look at them and talk about them and figure this out. But I think it's just having skin in the game right now is really important and I think the more inclusive and open and accessible that is, that whole process, production and distribution, I think the better it will be for the field going forward. So, you know, the other part is I think we do sometimes have to just recalibrate, you know, we were talking about metrics, recalibrate our expectations. I mean, I've seen pieces that haven't reached small audiences, but they've been profound. I mean, just one example is a piece in a country where it's illegal to be, not just even illegal to be gay, it's actually just not recognized. So it's like your existence is kind of eradicated or completely undermined. Creating spaces in VR chats to meet and express your identity and find community. I mean, this is a specific project I'm thinking of has been really profound for a small group of people, but that is important. And I think sometimes it's really important to, you know, everything doesn't have to be huge and mainstream to be powerful and successful. And I think that's something I look at, each project needs to be looked at differently. And also, I think it's important to remember that it's not like all of these problems have been solved in other mediums. There are huge issues in traditional film around who watches documentaries, for example, preaching to the choir. My background's in documentary film, so these are issues, and this is a medium that's 130, 140 years old, and they're still dealing with these issues. I think we have to give ourselves a little bit of a break sometimes too and know that like books, a lot of books don't sell very well and they're still powerful and important and it's not like we're saying books are crap because not enough people are reading this book. So sometimes it's like this is important, it's important that this story gets told. Of course we have to think about access and distribution but it's not like a reason to discredit the whole medium and I think that's the thing that kind of keeps me going.

[00:48:29.015] Brenda Longfellow: I think it's also thinking about novel networks. We're just starting the impact campaign now and it's really working with community partners, working with people who You know, there's a whole international movement to change drug policy. And the WHO is involved, the UN is involved, it's everywhere. And so trying to connect with that and social media and being able to build those networks, robust networks, I think is a really interesting way to think about different ways of distribution and getting the work out there into communities where it will be really valued. There's a conference on harm reduction where 3,000 people show up. And the people that I've talked to who do this frontline harm reduction work are exhausted. They're burned out. They have PTSD. And when they hear that there's a project that is somehow honoring their work in an aesthetic form that lifts them out of just the day-to-day, it's really quite remarkable. So they're very excited about showing the piece there. So I think novel networks using social media is a really incredible way to do impact.

[00:49:33.632] Glen Neath: I'll just say something about not really being a VR user myself. I've got an Oculus at home, but I've hardly ever picked it up. And I think what's been so exciting about being here, and I've only got here yesterday afternoon evening, so I haven't had a chance to do anything yet, but I was in Paris last week and I did loads of stuff. And it was just really great to be in a space where there's people to help you. So this is sort of people to help you do it and to onboard you and stuff, which is like, it's quite, if you don't know anything about it, it's like, what the hell, how am I supposed to do that? So how do you give people access to these spaces so that, you know, the problem at the same time is that you can only, one person can do it at a time. So there's kind of this and that, but I just think demystifying it would be really useful, I think.

[00:50:16.532] Charlie Park: I think that it's maybe not so often that you reach the kind of point we're in now in terms of like an emerging media. And I really like that story you told about all the teenagers lining up. I think there's another issue with access, which is access to creator tools as well. I think right now a lot of the tools and creation methods for VR, AR, immersive sound design are complicated. It's not really being taught in schools. But we do see things like filmmaking, painting, documentary making now being taught more widely. And so I hope that that will eventually happen with VR and AR and immersive media creation as well. And that could increase access on the reverse side, the creator side too.

[00:51:01.638] Kent Bye: Awesome. Well, we have time for maybe one or two questions. I see a hand back here. Hold on.

[00:51:07.980] Questioner 1 : Thank you. How could I say this? I love your enthusiasm with VR, but do you go into the coding aspect with the same enthusiasm of programming, of understanding what you're putting out? Well, let me clarify. Coding of the program that gives you the ability to orchestrate VR, you're invested in that source. So basically, it's the basics of what you're doing. So do you have that same enthusiasm to dig in and reach what you want to accomplish?

[00:52:01.255] Kent Bye: Any thoughts?

[00:52:02.937] Ingrid Kopp: Well, I personally do not have that enthusiasm, because I can't code at all. So one of the things that we do actually, and we're doing more and more of it now, is creating a network of creative technologists that we can work with. Because it's been a real stumbling block for us, actually just finding those folks in South Africa and across Africa. So it's two things for us. It's one, finding people who can code, who can work with us, and we can partner them with maybe an artist who can't and figure out what those collaborations look like. But the other one is also what tools, I mean, speaking of tools that are out there, there are all these amazing tools that actually allow you to do a lot without coding. And in some of our labs, the artists who are not necessarily coders but want to use creative tech, in their work, when they see these tools that allow them to create avatars and rig them without any coding, and then maybe they bring a coder and write just at the end. It's been really profound. So I think, yeah, I mean, the answer is yes, I'm very enthusiastic, but I don't personally code. What I am enthusiastic about is interdisciplinary collaboration. It's actually kind of what I've built my career on. I really believe that when you get people out of silos and bring them together, that's when great things can happen. I mean, terrible things can happen, too. I love actually having coders in a space with non-coders and figuring out how to make that translation work because it's been really profound to see how that can make new kinds of work.

[00:53:23.939] Kent Bye: We have time for maybe one last question here.

[00:53:27.667] Questioner 2: Thanks, maybe to expand on your question about the relationship with meta. And I think about distribution and access in terms of logistics. So I love your work. I mean, I think about the container industry. We tend to think about that as like this cold, soulless thing. But it's actually about relationships with a lot of people. And so even here at Tribeca Immersive, the difference in user experience between inner circle and outer circle and mass public is so stark that, worst of all, is the difference between what you experience here and going to the Oculus Store, especially if you know that difference. But for people who've never been here, they go to the Oculus Store. They're like, well, what's the deal? So my question is about your relationships with Meta to try to get this onto that massively distributed platform.

[00:54:19.357] Ingrid Kopp: We are working with Meta now to try and figure some of that out. It is complicated and I don't really have any good answers, but I guess our answer to that is let's try and figure it out on a really small scale. I totally take your point. I think that there are huge problems in terms of what gets shown where and curatorship and all of that. And yeah, I mean, I guess we're taking our first baby steps to try and figure out some of that. But, you know, we're a really small nonprofit and we know it's baby steps, right? I'm not solving any of these problems. I don't know if anyone else on this panel is.

[00:54:54.321] Kent Bye: I would just say that from my experience in the industry, most people have a really complicated relationship with meta that they're usually not willing to speak about publicly. In my private quarters, you get a little bit better answer to that question, but the other thing I'd say is that traditionally, meta has had a bifurcation between their experiences and the games, and they actually have separate divisions. Everything that's experience related is put into Oculus TV, but there's also apps that then live into the game store that get rated in the same context of the gaming context. And so I think over time, we'll probably see like a blurring and blending of this. difference between what's a game and what's an experience or what's a story. But right now, most of their experiential story parts are in the Oculus TV. So they have more curation. So that's where it lives right now. But it is, again, like playing second fiddle to the games still. And that's reflected in all of what they promote. But they've also said that the story seekers is one of the demographic that is the thing that they're trying to put more focus on. So I think we're going to start to see more narrative-based games being promoted. But yeah, the pipeline has been emphasizing this whole kind of genre of games. So that's just from my perspective of covering them and talking to different people there. That's probably a good... stopping point. This discussion is going to be ongoing. Like you said, Ingrid has been going on for 130, 140 years in other media. A lot of things have not been solved. But I appreciate all the different creators here for coming here and creating your work and showing it. And if you haven't had a chance to check it out, get a slot down. And all the pieces are on the floor here, the Trebek at Immersive down on the fifth floor. And yeah, thanks for joining us today for this panel.

[00:56:33.315] Meghna Singh: Thank you.

[00:56:42.719] Kent Bye: So that was myself moderating a panel discussion at the Tribeca Film Festival with Minga Singh, a researcher and visual artist based in South Africa, visual anthropologist with a focus on migration and immersive arts, and had a project there called Container, which is connecting the aspects of historical slavery to modern-day servitude to capitalism. Ingrid Kopp, who's based in South Africa and runs a non-profit organization called Electric South. who's working in Africa helping to develop, produce, and distribute AR and VR. Brenda Longfellow is a documentary filmmaker out of Toronto, background in linear filmmaking, interactive documentary, and working with communities doing co-creation. Had a project there called Intervene done in collaboration with Darkfield and Crackdown. Glenn Neath from Darkfield worked on Intervene. He's making binaural audio pieces for shipping containers and making shows for the Darkfield radio app since the pandemic. And then Charlie Park, It's a background in sculpture and film, working for the Emblematic Group since 2017, and has a piece there at the Traffic Immersive 2022 called Please Believe Me, which is an interactive documentary about Lyme disease. So yeah, I really enjoyed this conversation and love getting all these people from different backgrounds and different types of stories and different types of media, looking at all the commonalities of presence, but also just the ways that they're using the spatial medium to be able to tell these stories. I think a common theme for me, at least through all of these, is ways that things that are invisible and making them visible and things that are maybe abstract and distance and trying to give you an embodied experience that allows you to be immersed in there. for me specifically, the Please Believe Me is an interactive documentary that you're immersed in going around these different spatial contexts that are being captured with photogrammetry, that are really trying to recreate the frustration of having a Lyme disease and a long Lyme disease that you have these symptoms that you're not able to get help. And so how can you recreate that experience within the context of VR? And then the immersive audio piece of Intervene of having different layers of the story and having the binaural recordings that are happening from the front lines of what's happening, but then able to do the one-on-one interviews, allowing you to get one individual story. you know, one of the main characters of just focusing on bribing and giving you a little bit of a guided tour of the space, but also using conceits of narrative, flipping into an altered state of consciousness that as you're in the process of potentially overdose and using that as a kind of onboarding and offboarding way of getting into this world and out of this world. And yeah, kind of an interesting way of, you know, as immersive audio, how do you set the context as you're going into these different dimensions? Definitely worth checking out with the dark field. That's the pieces now available intervene. You can check it out for yourself Highly recommend seeing that and then container is a piece that I've covered before on the podcast it had shown at the Venice Film Festival the Amiga talking about her background in visual anthropology and immersive installations and to create the containers to put you into these different scenes and to do this blending and blurring of the hidden processes of capitalism and the historical and contemporary aspects of slavery, modern day servitude to capitalism and ways that she's able to blend the past with the present and how the invisible is becoming visible and that it's 180 degree video so you can't turn away. It's asking you to bear witness to these stories and these connections and to not have it out of sight out of mind, but to really put it in your mind in a way that's a really evocative metaphor that's hard to dismiss, like literally burying people under the carpet in the context of these historical connections to slavery, but connecting it to the existing modern-day slavery and the modern-day servitude to capitalism. So anyway, lots of different discussion points in the distribution, the challenges I think are documented here and that conversation and are yet to be fully figured out. But I guess the conversation will continue as we see the immense potential and power of immersive storytelling in terms of telling these stories that matter, but then getting out into the world and creating the culture and community and the access is a huge and able to creating opportunities for people to actually see this content and not just shown in privileged spaces like the Tribeca Immersive. So that's all I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a listed supporter podcast, and I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue bringing this coverage. So become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. Thanks for listening.

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