In my final episode of my coverage from Sundance New Frontier 2020, I speak with chief curator Shari Frilot about some of the themes of the line-up of XR experiences that were programmed this year. There were a number of themes the embodiment, social dynamics, and integrating more aspects of theater culminating in the new Biodigital Theatre this year featuring two social VR experiences (Atomu for 5 people and All Kinds of Limbo for 20 people) as well as Anti-Gone, which was a mixed reality play with a capacity of around 50 people.
We also talk about the dynamics of empathy, and how pieces like The Book of Distance and Still Here are providing embodied interactions that create connections to the pain of experiences. Frilot differentiates how a virtual reality simulation can’t replicate the full experience of trauma, but it can create embodied situations and environmental contexts that help to evoke the pains of an experience. Immersive experiences are painting with memories and embodied experiences of the audience, which means that XR as a medium can evoke associations of our own traumas, but it’s impossible to recreate the full context and character of experiences that unfold over a significant period of time (such as being incarcerated for 5, 10, or 20 years).
Another theme that came up this year was the increase of skepticism of technology. That’s seen in documentary films like Coded Bias and The Social Dilemma this year, The Great Hack and The Cleaners in previous years. This was explored more in depth in the New Frontier VR piece Persuasion Machines, and Frilot is actively looking to artists and creatives as they explore the dynamics of this emerging data economy and where they could fit into it.
Finally, we look at some of the underlying affordances of immersive storytelling and how it differs from other mediums like film. We explore the intersection of different mediums that had an influence on narrative feature films Zola and Spree, but also the combination of iPhone video composited in a cubist 360 video in Flowers and a Switchblade, the fusion of theater, Twitch.tv streaming, and open world exploration in Anti-Gone, the fusion of 360 video and literature in Go, and the combination of group ritual, embodied performance, and dance in Atomu.
Here are links to all of my Sundance 2020 coverage:
- ‘Scarecrow’ is a 1:1 Immersive Theater VR Piece with Thermal Haptics
- Group Ritual in VR: ‘Atomu’ & the Kikiyu Tribal Mythology on Gender Identity
- VR in Swimming Pools with AquaticVR Pionner Ballast VR & ‘SPACED OUT’
- ‘Breathe’ Visualizes How Breath Connects Us to Each Other in Social AR Experience
- YouTube VR Update: Google’s Largest Initiative in Virtual Reality
- Disney’s VR Production Design Innovations with ‘Myth: A Frozen Tale’
- Al Jazeera Uses VR & AR to Explore Life After Incarceration in ‘Still Here’
- ‘Persuasion Machines’ is Architectural Storytelling Against Surveillance Capitalism
- Embody The Life Cycle of a Mushroom in ‘Hypha’
- Haptic Chair Ride into Outer Space with ‘Living Distance’
- ‘Book of Distance’ has Breakthrough Immersive Storytelling Innovations
- ‘All Kinds of Limbo’ is a Musical Performance for 20 People in Quests.
- Site-Specific AR Installation with Hologram Ghosts in ‘Solastalgia’
- Questioning AI of Chomsky Trained with 60 Years of Data in ‘Chomsky vs Chomsky’
- Comparing Film to VR in a Series of Film Essays in ‘A Machine for Viewing’
- Combining Live Theater with Open World Exploration in ‘Anti-Gone’
- ‘Animalia Sum’ Blends Humor with a Unique Aesthetic of Photogrammetry-Captured Sculptures
- ‘Metamorphic’ Explores Context-Dependent Embodiment & Social Dynamics with Remixed Quill Art
- Sundance New Frontier Behind-the-Scenes with Curator Milo Talwani
- Sundance New Frontier Recap & Themes with Chief Curator Shari Frilot
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST
Here’s my live coverage of Sundance New Frontier 2020
Below are my #VR #AR recommendations for @sundancefest #NewFrontier.
New Frontier at The Ray has 7 XP apps in 90-min ticketed slots.
New Frontier Central has 5 XR free apps (+3 rotating in Biodigital Theater), but you need to reserve on-site (show up at opening). pic.twitter.com/yythtzlHCY
— Kent Bye VoicesOfVR (@kentbye) January 25, 2020
Here’s my tweet storm of all of my podcast coverage of Sundance New Frontier 2020
This thread contains my Voices of VR podcast coverage of XR at Sundance New Frontier 2020 covering:
🎨Immersive Storytelling Innovations
👩🔬XR Technology Innovations
🍥Experiential Design Process of Artists & Storytellers.
⏳16.5hrs interviews pic.twitter.com/CvhEcpIL08
— Kent Bye VoicesOfVR (@kentbye) March 9, 2020
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