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Adults Only (18+)
Note: Some virtual reality experiences have very limited capacity. First come, first served or via timed tickets distributed at the experience.
Storytelling is a fundamental piece of our human experience and is vital to how we create meaning from the world around us and express our individual worldview. Throughout history, new technologies—from the printing press to the moving image camera—have influenced and transformed storytelling. Tonight, we’ll consider the ways currently emerging technologies are contributing to the evolution of storytelling. As documentarians see the potential of VR to cultivate deeper empathy for their subjects, some artists wonder if the human voice can be removed entirely from the process, allowing a computer to generate stories. The resultant stories can take forms both familiar and vanguard, but will always speak to the basic human impulse to share and understand.
Blabdroids with Alexander Reben and Brent Hoff
Testing the concept of the ELIZA effect, which posits that there is a human tendency to anthropomorphize computers, causing us to engage with them as if they are human, Blabdroids have been traveling the globe since 2012, creating intimate, emotional, and fascinating robot-made films. Hear from Alex Reben, the creator and engineer behind these tiny documentarians, about what prompted him to create these artificially intelligent interviewers and the decisions and engineering that underlie their beguilingly adorable exterior. Reben will be joined by filmmaker Brent Hoff, who has been working closely with Reben on gathering interviews for the first robot-made documentary.
With a focus on story and character, combined with cutting-edge animation, Baobab Studio’s work is at the cutting edge of determining what works when it comes to storytelling in emerging technologies. The creators of three VR-based animations, including Invasion, the 2017 Daytime Emmy winner for “Outstanding Interactive,” Baobab’s immersive animation experiences evoke a sense of wonder from viewers of all ages, They celebrate the traditions of the cinematic experience while also moving forward into new terrains. Join us and learn about Baobab’s innovative approach to storytelling in virtual reality.
Bernard and Barbro Osher West Gallery and Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
Network Effect (Jonathan Harris)
The Internet is said to reflect our common humanity. Through its data, it is said to provide a kind of omniscience, and through its social networks, a deeper sense of connection. For those without access, it holds the promise of a better life. For those who use it a lot, its power to affect our lives is clear. But what is the nature of that effect? How does it change our behavior? The way we see others? The way we see ourselves?
Wikileaks: A Love Story (Anna Ridler)
Scraping Wikileaks to find an unlikely story of love in the workplace, this installation uses data from real emails between two people to construct a romantic relationship that goes from being in love to falling apart. This installation takes the form of over 10,000 pages of documents from Wikileaks, which were then scanned by an ipad with an augmented reality app to reveal the "hidden" story.
Pitter Patter (Alexa Ann Bonomo)
This interactive meditation reflects on the subtle sounds of rain on a window. The sounds get louder as more people leave the space and softer as people approach a flowing fabric that depicts imagery of growth and decay.
Invasion! (Baobab Studios)
This immersive VR animation from the director of Madagascar with narration by Ethan Hawke, tells the story of menacing aliens who’ve come to take over Earth and destroy anything that tries to stop them. Despite the aliens' superior technology and firepower, the citizens of Earth are able to rise up and defeat the invaders. But these citizens aren't humans. Instead, they are two of the cutest, sweetest, cuddliest and meekest creatures on our planet—adorable little white bunnies—and you are one of them.
Photo © Jonathan Harris, Network Effect.