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Christian McKay (CANADA) – Synthesis

Synthesis is an interactive audio visual installation and experience based artwork, utilizing audio visualization techniques and taking inspiration from oscilloscope technology. The main focus of this piece is within the interaction, allowing for users to explore and develop their own visual profiles that respond live to the specifically curated playlist input. With bright colourful visuals that are constantly being altered, this creates an immersive audio visual experience with the outcome being controlled solely by the user. Synthesis invites users to explore this fabricated digital space, temporarily losing sense of the outside world as they navigate the interactions in a trance-like state. As users become more comfortable with the interaction, they are able to develop a unique visual system that can be experienced by anyone in the vicinity of the work. Developed entirely within TouchDesigner, the software is widely compatible with a range of other applications such as live audio performances.

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Christopher Manzione and Seth Cluett (USA) – World and Place Evaporating (VR)

Philosopher and Ecologist Timothy Morton wrote that “ecological awareness consists precisely in concepts such as world and place evaporating, leaving behind real entities that are far closer than they appear in the mirror of human conceptuality.” The framing of ‘the world‘ and of ‘place‘ as grand unifying ideas that define communities is idealized, distancing humans from the inhabited planet and it’s eroding resources. World and Place Evaporating examines layers of reality that both dissipate and reveal, shifting orientations that become incursions on our comfort, and the ever-shifting framing of our point of reference that highlight the narratives we tell ourselves about what we’ve done.

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David Betteridge and Rob Vincent (UK) – The Winter Garden

Shot and edited over three years, ‘The Winter Garden’ is a 360 film that captures the transformation of a neighbourhood. In the decades following the riots of 1981, the residents of Granby, in Liverpool, campaigned against the demolition of their homes and the relocation of their community. In 2015 they joined forces with Assemble, the collective of artists and designers, to reimagine what their neighbourhood could look like. One plan that emerged from their collaboration - turning a derelict house into a Winter Garden and community centre - was central to Assemble winning a major UK art accolade: the Turner prize.

At the core of this film are scenes that place the audience inside the Winter Garden during key moments of its build. We see it in its derelict state, then much later when the trees are lifted in and finally when the space is being used as a workshop for local people. Punctuating these scenes are others that show the neighbourhood - a resident’s home, a hair and beauty salon and the local streets. All the while we hear a flow of the voices of the local community talking about their experiences of the past but more importantly voicing their hopes and dreams for the future.

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Friend Generator (Aidan Waite, David Han, Stefania Maria Medryk, Jennifer Pryde, and Kyle Williams) (CANADA) – After Dan Graham

After Dan Graham is an experimental mixed-reality art installation that explores the border between the physical and the virtual. This installation applies the concept of the feedback loop deployed by closed-circuit video installation artist Dan Graham to the corporeal data that is at the foundation of virtual reality (VR) technology. Through a re-creation and expansion of Dan Graham’s 1974 video installation, Time Delay Room 1, After Dan Graham extends Graham’s investigation into the technological mediation of self-perception into the immersive virtual environments created by the VR apparatus. 

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Kevin Mack (USA) – Zen Parade

Zen Parade is a surreal journey through a 360º 3D animated world of living sculptures - A five-minute abstract art experience that is engineered to relax and rejuvenate. 

In Zen Parade, you float through an endless sky filled with evolving abstract sculptures. The fluid motion of the sculptures and the sound healing music are designed to engage the imagination, inspire awe, and enhance well being. The juxtaposition of abstraction and realism inspires pareidolia so that each viewer has a unique experience. 

Zen Parade is part of a research study where it is being used as a hypnoanalgesic during awake brain surgery and to help map the right hemisphere. 

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Marc Lee (SWITZERLAND) – ’10,000 Moving Cities – Same but Different’

With the augmented reality app ‘10.000 Moving Cities – Same but Different’ one moves between the imaginary buildings using a tablet or smart phone and participates in real time digital communication streams and social movements by means of inserted Twitter posts. Buildings can be destroyed and rebuilt by the users. The more buildings disappear, the more creatures appear … The digital content and the physical backdrop are both Toronto related, as only tweets within a 2000 meter radius around the TNW are streamed and the whole scenery unfolds itself in the TNW courtyard. In an immersive, playful and interactive manner the AR version of 10.000 Moving Cities brings to mind how places are constantly changing, language diversification, plant and animal species are diminishing and buildings, shopping malls and cities are taking over; accompanied by a growing resemblance and lack of true local identity. 

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Martina Menegon (AUSTRIA) – All Around Me Are Familiar Faces

“all around me are familiar faces” is a virtual reality experience that immerses the user in a dimly lit environment, filled with clones of the artist’s 3D scanned face. Around the centre area, new faces pop-up randomly, others float on a watery dark floor and a cloud of faces continuously obstruct the view of the user. By pressing the trigger button and moving the controllers, one can clone the faces and is able to create three-dimensional sculptures with them. In “all around me are familiar faces” the artist’s face exist simultaneously as a virtual self-portrait and as a tool for creation. The artist’s identity multiplies and vanishes, becoming a virtual three-dimensional brush for everyone else to use and reinvent.

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Mez Breeze (AUSTRALIA)V(R)ignettes

V[R]ignettes is series comprised of Virtual Reality crafted microstories. Each individual microstory, or vignette, is designed to encourage a kind of “narrative smearing” – where traditional story techniques are truncated and mutated into “smears” (kinetic actions and mechanics/collage-like layered building blocks/visual distortions/two-tiered text annotations) which requires a reader to make active choices in order to navigate each microstory space (storybox).

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Michelle Brown (AUSTRALIA) leaving richmond ‘Curvature of the Earth’ (VR music video)

VR music video for LA artist, leaving richmond, created by Australian artist and producer Michelle Brown (The Bad Lament) using Google’s Tilt Brush. The concept of the clip is based on the NASA proposed Stanford Torus designs created in 1975, which was the creation of future space colony concept drawings. In this virtual reality music video you will travel through tunnel like dimensions, transported through an interstellar environment to a space colony and back again.

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Ora Ruven (ISRAEL)Invasive Species Museum

I know that summer comes when an invasive species, the little fire ant, stings me. 

It is so painful! I began to investigate about the stings of these dangerous ants. 

Thus I had been exposed to the issue of invading species.  I use a model from the ecocentric approach to examine historical and social phenomena: The mass distribution let the propagators of new insights create waves of humans groups invasion. 

The museum suggests:  

  • to expand the invasive species concept and to apply it to humans.

  • to relate to invasive species as a natural phenomenon

  • To confront the environmental Ecocentric approach with Human Values

Explore the museum halls; each displaying an invasive species, realistic like the Little Fire Ant, or invented like Ideum Propagate.

This VR 360 video shows the museum and its exhibits that are made by 3D hand drawing with VR Tilt Brush program. 

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Paul Hertz (USA)Fool’s Paradise (VR)

Fool’s Paradise is a virtual world based on the “Proverbs of Hell” of English poet and artist William Blake. Paul Hertz and composer Stephen Dembski developed its visual and musical structures as an intermedia collaboration: from an abstract viewpoint, what you see is what you hear. Visually, Fools Paradise riffs on English Romantic gardens and the changing aesthetics of VR, from the CAVE to game engines and goggles. Perched on a highland in the form of an immense open book with a stream of language/water running down its center, the virtual world offers forty-eight interactive pavilions linked by a network of paths. Each pavilion interprets a proverb as a song composed by Stephen Dembski for soprano, flute, cello, and spoken voice, as a mask (by Mark Klink), and as calligraphy (by Koy Suntichotinun).

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Sappho (CANADA) – Get My Shit Together (360 music video)

Get My Shit Together was my first 360 video ever, and I’m so excited we got into Toronto New Wave! The song is all about celebrating experimentation and ingenuity, and I think we pulled that off with the video as well. We were the first people to combine Tilt Brush graphics and live action in a music video (because I love the idea of making VR with VR), and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped make this project come together especially Prajj, my music team at The Beach Audio, my incredible cast, and all the organizations who were kind enough to donate equipment. In hindsight there are certainly things I'd do differently, but that’s what getting your shit together is all about! It’s about pushing boundaries, growing up, and experimenting like a mad scientist until you get it right! Thanks so much for watching, and get your shit together!

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Bianca Kennedy & The Swan Collective (GERMANY) ANIMALIA SUM (VR)

ANIMALIA SUM: I am animals. I eat animals. This duality also exists in Bianca Kennedy & The Swan Collective’s virtual reality experience, which deals with the future of the human food supply. In a few hundred years, natural disasters and scarcity of resources will force our society to eat insects. High-quality proteins and unsaturated fatty acids are ideal nourishment, and special molecular compounds within deliver new antibiotics. Using virtual reality glasses, the observer slips into the minds of the animals and experiences the promise of salvation from the other side: gaping human mouths and overcrowded bug farms. In turn the insects advocate for the consumption of whales. Why should an individual whale be more valuable than a billion friendly beetles? The artists combine sensitive portrayals of insects with bittersweet visions of the future.

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Torsten Hink (GERMANY)Initial Situation

Within this experiment, another offshoot was created in which these forms were transferred into the virtual space and animated there continuously by an algorithm. Using VR glasses, you can enter this room and then go into the interior of the form.

The submitted work thus ties in with the initial question and plays with the spatial intermeshing of utopias and familiar surroundings. In a randomized animation, the constant movement of space is addressed, in which at the same time fictive and familiar, private and public, inner and outer as well as multiple points of view overlap. Insofar, the virtual space itself can also be read as a link between utopia and heterotopia (according to Foucault).

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Yvette Granata (USA) – Data-Slime

Data-Slime is a journey through a surreal landscape in which an AI writes social media posts. The visitor explores an imaginary landscape constructed from various kinds of data — 3D scanned bodies, generated surfaces, and Facebook data tuned into abstract structures. The various objects form a fictional data swamp that reorganizes data collected by social media platforms, changing it instead into a surreal space-time inhabited by an AI. As the viewer explores the swamp, the AI entity posts new comments trained with a Recurrent Neural Network. The AI populates the landscape with new kinds of stories as the data-swamp continuously grows and updates as the AI model learns. It is a meditation on the possibility for reshaping, or sliming, data-life into a new system.