As many of you know, I wrote a series of critical essays on #e-lit with creator interviews for Huffington Post in an attempt to bring electronic literature to a more mainstream audience. Many of these were later referenced in university syllabi and books including:
Ecogothic in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (referencing my review of Tim Morton’s Hyperobjects)
The Routledge Companion to #Remix Studies referencing my interview with Lev Manovich and review of his Software Takes Command
I then started a series on VR but got too busy to continue, nevertheless, they are worthwhile and, I hope, thought-provoking. I am revisiting them now for teaching my class at IFP.
Jessica Kantor’s Ashes: Gesture as Narrative in VR
Jess Johson’s Ixian Gate Jess Johnson and the New Language of VR
and Rachel Rossin Artist Profile: Rachel Rossin, Virtual Reality Fellow at The New Museum’s NEW INC
This is such a beautiful project. We wrote a grant for LACMA art+tech. Waiting to hear. It would consist of database narrative game focusing on US cold war/atomic bomb history for VR and online, a Snapchat project, and an AI.
Postcards for Future Humans is a Snapchat “Our Story” campaign where visitors record a short “goodbye” to future humans who will never know Earth (now uninhabitable) and contribute an archival memory in the form of a photograph of a personally meaningful place or object. Available for only 24 hours, the ephemerality of these memories resonates with the possible loss of our primordial home.
Tiny Drop AI i s an artificial intelligence charged with the absurd task of visualizing the answers to challenging philosophical questions. With assistance from Google, we propose creating an AI that will be fed player multiple choice answers to “big questions” such as “what is human?,” “what is freedom?, “what is evil?”, ” what is love?”, “what is justice?.” The visual multiple choice answers are culled from the online community at large using Google Search Engine to scour the Internet for images. We will display Tiny Drop’s evolving answers to these questions in a real-time data visualization on our website. Visitors to the website may also participate by responding to these same questions online, outside of gameplay. Because the questions are as important as the answers, we propose a public workshop and discussion at LACMA that will culminate in the community deciding which questions are most important for the future of humanity.
In the meantime here is beautiful work from our collaborator Karen Llamas who is creating a comic based on the feature length screen play for Atomic Vacation. Shizuku is a little Japanese-made robot girl, the sole sentient inhabitant on a rocketship carrying a digital archive of “all human knowledge.” Her mission is to re-instantiate “the human” should Earth become uninhabitable, (of course it does). This comic is Shizuku’s remembered/imagined fantasy of her life on our home planet. The cover for first chapter reflects the page where “Ray” –Shizuku’s teacher and ? love interest takes her home to the US from Tokyo. So good. I’m just taking my name off of it… who is creating a comic book of Shizuku’s remembered/fantasized life on our home planet.
Cyril and I were asked to give a talk at SIGGRAPH this year. I knew there was no way I would fit in among the mostly white, straight tech nerds, so, I didn’t try, instead, I gave the talk I’d always wanted to give…and they loved it! A certain Microsoft VP said, “I haven’t met anyone else that has put VR into such a philosophical framework or drawn from such a broad range of thinkers.”
I do a ten minute talk on story as a way of organizing information, taking the audience on a wild ride through philosophy, neuroscience, and Marinetti’s Manifesto of Tactilism… Then Cyril brings it all home to talk about why we did what we did to make #Queerskins: a love story. Enjoy.
Here is the link.
I’m teaching a class on storytelling in #VR at The #IFP Made in NY Media Center in March–if you know me–you know I think differently…Come ready to think outside the box and get out of your artistic comfort zone. It’s going to be fun!
Whether you are already an established fiction or documentary writer, filmmaker, or artist or just want to start or learn more about making stories in virtual reality, this class is for you. We focus on the #art of the #story. No technical experience or experience with game engines is required.
Just returned from Venice Biennale Cinema VR lab where we worked on our second episode of Queerskins: a love story for VR. In Queerskins ark, Mary-Helen, the mother of Sebastian, whom she has lost to AIDS, finds a way to transcend her grief and her self through reading his diary. It is our hope that through the unique possibilities of VR storytelling (in this episode we harness the visitor’s body movement for storytelling) visitors can also transcend if just for a time their own limits of themselves and their world. This was an incredibly productive experience for us. The mentors and participants were so generous with their creativity and knowledge. So grateful for this opportunity. Stay tuned for updates.