XR Experience Spotlight 1

Mar 11, 2024

11:00am – 6:00pm CT

The first star cluster mapped by the original stargazers of Southern Africa constellates 444.2 light years away from Earth, ancient astronomical practice superposed on the geography and modern astrophysics of the Southern African Large Telescope. Immerse in the starlit & ghostly terrain of the Karoo, where volumetric fashion performance unfolds to a cinematic Afro-diasporic score. Costumed figurations and particle bodies morph in a triptych, entangling African cosmology with the technological sublime of inner and outer space.

Embark on an immersive exploration in a psychotropic cyberpunk universe, where each element – from spatial audio to tactile haptic systems – is meticulously crafted to represent the emotional spectrum of a lived bipolar disorder experience. Lotus flower speakers resonate with personal stories, while triptych displays visualize the journey from turmoil to tranquility. This experience, deeply personal yet universally resonant, offers a window into the life of an individual navigating the complexities of bipolar disorder, pre and post-treatment. It's a shared exploration that invites understanding, empathy, and a collective reimagining of mental health narratives.

"Buried in the Rock" brings us into the world of Tim and Pam Fogg, rope access specialists and speleologists who see exploring caves as akin to an archaeological dig that reveals geological and climate history. Set in Northern Ireland, this is a portrait of what drives two passionate individuals to discover new caves despite the dangers, darkness and the unknown that lays ahead. While following their descent, the entire cave system is revealed in stunning miniature detail capturing otherworldly formations and sounds. Plunged into darkness, experience the bottom of the cave in true scale and hear from Tim and Pam how vital it is to preserve these environments in the age of the Anthropocene.

"Dani: the Portrait of a Beauty" is a virtual reality experience based on genre paintings by Shin Yunbok. The experience takes users on a journey through realistic depictions of the daily life of the Joseon Dynasty in the 1700s. Through Pansori storytelling, traditional Korean dance, and cel-shading visual art, audiences delve into Dani's moving love tale, a character symbolizing the desires, dreams, and challenges of her time. Dani is a gisaeng who may not be glamorous but confidently expresses herself through dance and performance. She tries to show her charm to Yisaeng, whom she secretly loves, but her continuous mistakes make her the laughingstock. Then, one day…

Lebanon has been facing one of the most severe economic downfalls in the world since 2019. Inflation has skyrocketed, electricity is scarce, life is a constant struggle for many. But despite the hardships, there is hope for a better future. Meet and engage with Rafik, Josephine and Batoul, three young Lebanese who stayed in the country despite the hardships. Explore their realities and listen to their stories and dreams. The documentary utilizes cutting-edge volumetric video, stereoscopic 360 and 3D animation technologies that enable viewers to engage in an holographic interview with young Lebanese from various walks of life and different places of the country to explore their realities.

"Emperor" is an interactive and narrative experience in virtual reality, which invites the user to travel inside the brain of a father, suffering from aphasia. It is the story of a man who’s lost his ability to speak, and of the daughter trying to communicate with him. It is the story of a woman, who wasn’t given the chance to know the man behind her father, now obscured by this illness.

"Energēia" is an immersive documentary experience where you can take a stroll without beginning or end. Freed from gravity, the visitor is invited to explore ghostly buildings, built from 3D scans within French nuclear power plants. As they go forward into these composite spaces, their direct gaze can trigger hidden interviews with several experts — engineers, physicists and researchers offering a variety of viewpoints about the future of energy at ecological, economic and geopolitical levels.

"Escape to Shanghai" follows Doris’s epic journey from Germany to safety in Shanghai, on the other side of the world making a temporary home and a new life cut off from the horrors playing out in German-occupied Europe. Filmed on location in Shanghai, Chicago, and Berlin, Doris's story is brought to life using 360 video technology alongside 3D environments, animation, motion capture and a spatial soundtrack. By telling her story, Doris sheds light on a lesser known, but important part of the Holocaust never to be forgotten. Escape to Shanghai captures the fierce perseverance of Doris and her family as refugees fighting for survival.

“Her Name Was Gisberta” is a VR documentary that portrays the life and death of Gisberta Salce, a Brazilian Trans woman murdered by 14 young men in the city of Porto (Portugal) in 2006. Uniting the knowledge provided by Virtual Reality Perspective-Taking Tasks, this project was created as a tool of education, social intervention and activism against transphobia.

On the journey meet four hot heads whose lives are at a crossroads. After decades of rash decision making something is about to profoundly change them. A diagnosis. Impulse: Preview is a mixed reality interactive story about the reality of ADHD. From the violent surges to the emotional fall out, as well as the outsider status so many are left with. Through learning to tune into the frequencies of these characters to decode the patterns in their lives you might come to see something about your own way of thinking. This is an exclusive 18 minute preview of Impulse: Playing with Reality, the full version will be released later in 2024.

In “Letters from Drancy”, you will accompany Marion Deichmann as she recounts her daring childhood journey across the borders of Northern Europe during WW2 with her mother Alice, her painful separation from her mother, her escape from the Nazis with the help of the French Resistance in Paris, her survival of D-Day in Normandy. Filmed on location in Paris and Normandy in France, Marion’s story has been brought to life using 360 video technology alongside 3D environments, animation, motion capture and a spatial soundtrack . Marion’s story is one full of emotion, loss and longing, but ultimately love. A love that has endured throughout her whole life. Now you too can share her story.

“Our body will remember, and it will tell.” This work delves into the theme of the body, inspired by traditional Taiwanese folklore, particularly the story of Sister Lin-Tou. It sheds light on the remarkable ability of our bodies to preserve memories of past trauma, even after the wounds have fully healed. As the VR narrative unfolds, viewers step into the Bardo, the liminal space between existence and the beginning of life, where Sister Lin-Tou resides. Here, they encounter her immense body, perceiving it as an entire universe. Within the Bardo, the dichotomy of departing or remaining loses significance, leaving behind only a repetitive time-space and an empty vessel.

To exist in the virtual world is to have two bodies, four hands, two hearts. In “Shadowtime”, a guide to this double world leads you through questions around the climate crisis, irreconcilable realities, and the virtual as a place to take shelter. The VR installation is accompanied by the directors' previous short film “Our Ark.” Together, these projects present a diptych of a rapidly changing world: one chronicles the desire to digitally preserve, and the other critiques the allure of the virtual and its impact on our physical realities.

In Songs for a Passerby you will autonomously walk through a musical dreamscape shown in a VR headset. You are following your own 3D mirror image and on the way you will pass by various scenes: a dying horse, a choir of murmuring people, two playing dogs. Songs for a Passerby is a meditative quest that allows you to step outside reality for a moment and look at yourself. As a puppeteer of your own body you will be entering a poetic space where the melancholy question arises: is this me passing by moments, or is it rather the moments passing by me? This program is supported by Dutch Culture USA of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York.

Polly's house is inhabited by 39 versions of herself: each one year apart, living and growing older to replace the next, reliving the same life in a never ending cycle. And this is a day like any other...

The Imaginary Friend invites you to take part in the vivid imagination of Daniel, a grieving eight-year-old struggling with the line between reality and fantasy. Become Daniel’s imaginary friend and let him share his world with you. Discover his joys and anxieties, even help him fight his demons head-on. However, as you spend time together, Daniel’s surroundings don’t quite understand. Why is he talking to himself? Is he crazy? When his father intends to fix him, Daniel needs to figure out his feelings before disconnecting from reality completely… This program is supported by Dutch Culture USA of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York.

"Walk to Westerbork" is a remarkable virtual reality experience told through an intensely personal account of a young girl’s survival during the Holocaust. Audiences accompany Rodi Glass as she revisits the sights of her survival from Amsterdam, Westerbork transit camp and Vittel internment camp. Filmed on location in the Netherlands, France and the United States, Rodi's story has been brought to life, using 360 video technology alongside 3D environments, animation, motion capture, and a spatial soundtrack. Walk to Westerbork is a story of luck, defiance and love for family. Showing the capacity for the human spirit ro not only survive, but thrive.

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420 mins
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