rachel rossin 5.jpg
Doug Trumbull 1.jpg
18634310535_72c2def13b_o.jpg
Marte 6 (1).jpg
rachel rossin 1.jpeg
Jacolby 2.png
rachel rossin 5.jpg

the creative landscape of virtual reality


SCROLL DOWN

the creative landscape of virtual reality


the future is now

Versions is a new conference on creative practice and alternate realities, with a focus on virtual reality, co-presented by New Museum’s incubator, NEW INC, and Kill Screen.

Though virtual reality has existed in some form since the 1960s, and in the realm of science fiction for much longer, 2016 promises to be a breakthrough year for the technology with high profile product launches and major releases in games and film on the horizon.

Versions aims to shift the conversation around VR from one focused on tools and gadgets to a dynamic interdisciplinary discussion that will examine how this technology is being shaped and defined by artists, scientists, filmmakers, the gaming industry and more. Conversations will span VR’s proclaimed status as an “empathy machine” and how it’s being leveraged by journalists and the military; address urgent questions regarding emerging standards around ethics and practice; consider the technology’s relationship to the brain and its neurological and psychological effects; as well as how practitioners are exploiting the format’s opportunities for embodiment and immersion.

Through conversations and skills-based learning opportunities, Versions will explore not just what VR technology can do, but what we do with it: what future can we bring to life via VR? The conference aims to show that the successive iterations of VR will be invented by those who question and surpass its out-of-the-box options.

Doug Trumbull 1.jpg

Speakers


Speakers


18634310535_72c2def13b_o.jpg

Conference


Conference


WHERE:

The New Museum, Manhattan, NYC

WHEN: 

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

NOTES:

Lunch, coffee & water will be provided for attendees

An afterparty will follow the conference at Samsung 837

CONFERENCE PROGRAM:

9:15-10:00 AM - Registration

10:00-10:15 AM - Opening Remarks

Jamin WarrenJulia Kaganskiy 

-    -    -

10:15-11:00 AM - VR: The Last Medium?

Virtual reality offers an uncanny fusion of various creative mediums in an intimate, immersive environment. Drawing on visual art, sound, film, gaming, architecture and design, even theater, VR both builds on the histories and traditions of these established disciplines and, at the same time, defies their rules and conventions. What unique qualities does VR offer creators? How are they wielding it in new and unexpected ways? What reference points can they reliably turn to when writing the rulebook for how to navigate this new terrain? And are we witnessing the birth of a new medium? Or the continuation and evolution of an art form like gaming or film?

Speakers: Torfi Frans Olafsson, Jessica Brillhart, Neil McFarland, Rachel Rossin

 

-    -    -

11:00 AM - Featured NEW INC Project: Giant, presented by Milica Zec and Winslow Turner Porter III

Giant is a short VR film by Milica Zec and Winslow Turner Porter III that recently debuted at New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival in 2016. In the film, two parents, trapped in an active war zone, struggle to distract their young daughter by inventing a fantastical tale, which intensifies as bomb blasts draw closer overhead. Inspired by real events, this immersive experience transports the viewer into the family's makeshift basement shelter.

 

-    -    -

11:00-11:45 AM - Where is My Mind? VR on The Brain

Virtual reality’s immersive qualities are closely linked to the science of optics and neurological stimulus, giving it the ability to literally fool the brain to create the sensation of embodiment. In this session, we will examine how VR interacts with the brain, how this differs from other media experiences, and what new questions and considerations it brings to light. We’ll explore everything from motion sickness to hallucinatory experiences to VR’s much hyped ability to elicit empathy and treat PTSD in soldiers.

Speakers: Ken Perlin, Marte Roel, Skip Rizzo

 

-    -    -

11:45-11:50 AM - Featured NEW INC Project: Kokowa, presented by Jesse Finkelstein, Meredith Finkelstein, and Peter Zuspan

Kokowa is an online platform for easily creating, sharing, and exploring 3-D, augmented reality (AR), and VR environments.

-    -    -

12:10-12:55 PM - VR at the Inflection Point

We are currently riding the third wave of VR and, so far, it seems to be the most promising in terms of its potential to break through to the mainstream. In this session, we will examine VR’s past successes and failures and assess what we can learn from its previous attempts. What has changed? What still needs to change for it to really resonate with a mainstream audience?

Speakers: Janet Murray, Andrew Schoen, Shari Frilot, Aaron Koblin

Moderator: Monika Bielskyte

 

-    -    -

2:30 PM - Featured NEW INC Project: IrisVR, presented by Shane Scranton

IrisVR is creating a suite of professional software that allows users to visualize, share, and edit 3-D models in VR and AR. As a one-click solution to VR solution, their application Prospect is the first of its kind. It is built on a unique underlying engine that takes 3-D data and optimizes it for real-time viewing and interaction.

-    -    -

2:35-2:55 PM - Fireside Chat 

Gene Dolgoff has a career spanning decades spearheading pioneering research in optics, holography, and augmented reality. Perhaps most famously, he is credited as the inventor of the Holodeck after a fateful conversation with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, about the future of holography and AR. In this fireside chat, Gene will discuss the evolution of immersive environments and the influence of science fiction on technological development and vice versa.

Gene Dolgoff

-    -    -

2:55-3:00 PM - Featured NEW INC Project: DepthKit, presented by James George

DepthKit makes shooting, editing, and publishing volumetric video easy. By providing your video camera with depth-sensing capabilities, DepthKit lets you transform true 3-D live-action videos into VR and AR films.

-    -    -

3:00-3:45 PM - Does VR Need a Hippocratic Oath?

Working in VR raises new questions in ethics and practice. The platform’s capacity to create the illusion of embodiment and, purportedly, elicit empathy has made it an exciting new tool for filmmakers and journalists who seek to capture different communities and tell stories of social justice. But with this kind of unprecedented sense of intimacy, what responsibilities do creators have to their subjects and to their audiences? What can we learn from documentary film and photography about how best to capture “reality?” Do we need accepted standards for how we work in VR, a la a Hippocratic Oath or Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics?

Speakers: Gabo Arora, Sam Dolnick, Rose Troche

Moderator: Lina Srivastava

-    -    -

4:10-4:55 PM - Intimacy, Embodiment, and Alienation

What does it mean to look into their eyes; to hold their hand, to touch their face, and possibly something more? Can we fall in love? Can we break up? We’ll explore how the concept of intimacy translates to the virtual realm. By looking at what is gained and what is lost, this panel will inform more of conversations about what it means to be close with other bodies in another place.

Speakers: Ela Darling, Jacolby Satterwhite, Katherine Isbister

 

-    -    -

5:00 PM - Featured Project: Mecha Mouse, presented by A Good Place

Mecha Mouse is a cooperative VR game in which five players control a mouse-shaped, mouse-sized Mecha Mouse together. The player with the VR headset controls the head, while the other players control the limbs using gamepads. The game takes place in the future and involves a group of intelligent mice who are trying to get the ultimate treasure: cheese. Humans have deployed anti-rodent robotic defenses, so the team must communicate and work together if they have any chance of surviving!

5:00-5:45 PM - Keynote Address

Speaker: Douglas Trumbull

-    -    -

5:45-6:00 PM - Closing Remarks

Jamin WarrenJulia Kaganskiy 

TICKETS:

Regular Access Ticket: SOLD OUT

Early Bird Registration: SOLD OUT

Premium Access Ticket: SOLD OUT

Student/Artist Discounted Ticket: SOLD OUT 

**Lunch, coffee & water will be provided for attendees

**An afterparty will follow the conference at The New Museum

Marte 6 (1).jpg

Workshops


Workshops


WHERE:

NEW INC

231 Bowery, 2nd FL

New York, NY 10002

WHEN:

Sunday March 6th, 2016

Session 1: 12pm-3pm

Session 2: 4pm-7pm

Versions workshops offer participants a chance to learn best practices from the pros, get hands-on and investigate the practical side of creating compelling experiences for VR. Led by industry-leading experts, they’ll explore a range of approaches to VR that includes web-based, 360 video and game engine environments, as well as more cutting-edge experiments like room-scale VR.

Workshops will be opened first to Versions conference pass holders, but you may also purchase a ticket to attend an individual workshop. You do not need a conference pass to attend a workshop.

 

//////////////////////////////////SESSION ONE/////////////////////////////////////

The Painful Introduction to Virtual Reality

Instructor: Omer Shapira

Beginner Session - 12-3PM

Description:

This workshop will introduce concepts in 3 key areas of VR: Perception, Computation and Design Theory. We'll talk about how the senses are tricked into accepting presence (and when the illusion breaks), how key perceptual ideas from Film & Magic are different in VR (but not that far off), and we'll analyze examples of successful (and failed) VR projects (some made by the speaker). We'll also practice designing virtual experiences without ever touching a computer. Although this workshop has no prerequisites, it will involve industry-level considerations, so you might want to have some coffee first.

About the Instructor:

Omer Shapira is the head of Virtual Reality at Fake Love. He has worked on Virtual Reality innovations at Framestore, the NYU Media Research Lab, the MIT Media Lab, and made VR experiences shown at MoMa, The Barbican, Sundance Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. In the past 15 years, he has worked as a Filmmaker, Visual Effects Artist, Software Engineer and TV Show Host.

///////////

Introduction To Google Cardboard & Unity

Instructor: Adina Shanholtz

Beginner Session - 12-3PM

Description:

In this workshop, participants will build a 3D Virtual Reality game from the ground up. Participants will learn how to navigate the Unity editor, implement player input, implement Google Cardboard’s virtual reality controls, as well as how to implement collectible power-ups, scoring, and win conditions. The source code will be publicly available with additional resources so the audience will be able to re-build the game themselves and continue development long after the talk is over.

About the Instructor:

Adina Shanholtz (aka the Fey Technologist) is a Technical Evangelist for Microsoft. She graduated from Oberlin College with a double major in Computer Science and East Asian Studies. She has a passion for Game Development, Internet of Things/Wearable technology, and empowering others through programming. In her spare time Adina likes to knit, practice her Japanese, and perform hoop and poi circus arts.

Participant Prereqs:

iOS Users, follow the guide here: https://developers.google.com/cardboard/unity/get-started-ios

Android users follow the guide here: https://developers.google.com/cardboard/unity/get-started

NOTE: Both iOS and Android users will have to download the latest version of Unity as well as the cardboard SDK. iOS users should also be aware that in order to port the game to your phone, you will need an iOS developer account.

///////////

Stepping Away From Storytelling: Room Scale and the Future of VR Experiences

Instructor: Christine Cattano

Advanced Session - 12-3PM

Description:

VR is just getting started, and as with all new things it has a long way to go. More than just inheriting the design paradigms of film, gaming, and other mediums, the future of VR will be something much greater than simply slipping goggles on your head and watching a movie. Blending the emerging practice of designing navigable virtual spaces with other "now-possible" technology, this workshop will have Mike Woods of White Rabbit VR and Christine Cattano of Framestore walking through what VR could be in a few short years if we focus on what it's good at and start conceiving of it as a multi-faceted, multi-sensory experience. Participants will experience a VR set-up with room scale tracking and discuss both the practical aspects of working with real-time and responsive media assets in a tracked physical space, as well as the conceptual design challenges and opportunities these integrated systems allow.

About the Instructor:

Christine Cattano is Executive Producer within Framestore’s Virtual Reality Studio, based in New York. In her two+ years at Framestore she has actively grown her department from an interactive arm of the company into a dedicated studio focused on virtual reality, building an infrastructure to support this exciting new creative technology while still in its infancy.

Leading a team of highly creative minds, Cattano has been at the forefront of some of Framestore’s most pioneering projects. Cattano joined Framestore in April 2013 as Senior Producer, serving as production lead for all digital and integrated projects. Her previous role at boutique marketing agency Campfire incorporated production for multi-platform, cross-channel initiatives, for brands including National Geographic Channel, HBO and Harley-Davidson. At Framestore, notable projects have included the highly-awarded Game of Thrones ‘Ascend the Wall’ experience, Volvo Reality and Merrell ‘Trailscape’.

Christine has recently shared her VR expertise with publications includingContagious, Wired, AdAge and Shots, and made Business Insider's 30 Most Creative People in Advertising list for 2015. She has also given talks on Virtual Reality at the Web Summit in Dublin and will speak at this year’s Most Contagious event in London. 

///////////

Spatial Sound

Instructors: Charlie Whitney and Wilson Brown

Advanced Session - 12-3PM

Audio is an essential component of film, television and games.  Music and sound design can set a scene, move a narrative forward and tell us how to feel.  To date, virtual reality has been slow on the uptake and isn't utilizing all of the immersive possibilities of a robust new medium, so this workshop will introduce several different methods for both the recording and playback of sound in a virtual space.  We will touch on spatialized mono, binaural, and ambisonic audio as well as a custom panning algorithm.  In the session we will record and play back audio that we make on site and get all participants involved!  We’ll also write code to interact with it in real time. No recording experience is necessary, but some code and or familiarity with Unity scripting is a big plus!

About the Instructors: 

Wilson Brown is a creative director, composer and multimedia artist.  After receiving a B.A. and M.A. from Brown University he has worked creating music, sound design and new media in New York and São Paulo.  He was awarded the Art Directors Club's "Young Guns 9", First Boards' Composer of the Year, and his work has been honored by Cannes, the One Show, D&AD, Sundance, AICP, the Oscars and most recently, the Grammys, with his side project, Alagoas. Wilson is passionate about using audio to tell stories, evoke emotion and make visual and experiential media more powerful.

Charlie Whitney investigates the role of art and technology and the way it interacts with physical spaces. He designs technology based work that elicits and amplifies emotional responses from viewers. Charlie creates work that uses technology as a platform and not an endpoint, to give users new ways in which to express themselves.

Participant Prereqs: 

Participants should have the latest version of Unity installed (personal version is fine), along with the free version of Two Big Ears. Participants should also be sure to bring some decently good headphones! 

Unity can be installed from here: http://unity3d.com/get-unity

And Two Big Ears (non-commercial version) can be installed from here: http://www.twobigears.com/3dception_unity.php

//////////////////////////////////SESSION TWO///////////////////////////////////

 

WebVR Starter Kit : An Introduction to Building VR in the Browser

Brian Chirls, CTO of Datavized and creator of the WebVR Starter Kit will present an introduction to how anyone can build VR experiences using a web browser. The primer workshop will feature an overview of the WebVR Starter Kit open source project, A­Frame, rapid prototyping VR in the browser, and other tools and resources as well as live tutorials, demonstrations and prototype applications. Students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals, motivations, and technical components to building the Immersive Web.

About the Instructor:

Brian Chirls is Chief Technology Officer at Datavized, an NYC-based immersive design and technology studio. He is a recognized innovator in the independent film world. He was recently the Digital Technology Fellow at PBS POV, a position funded by the Knight Foundation. He has developed innovative models for interaction, data visualization and content authoring in virtual reality. Brian has helped to create a new genre of interactive video pieces and software libraries that demonstrate ways to combine the interactivity and connectivity of the web with the aesthetic power of cinema and his work has been presented at CPH:DOX, IDFA DocLab, SXSW and Tribeca Film Institute.

Participant Prereqs:

Laptop with internet

//////////////

Imperfect Worlds: Alternative Techniques for Crafting VR

Instructor: Sarah Rothberg

Beginner Session - 4-7PM

Description:

The focus of this workshop is to enable participants to translate their work made in other media (drawings, photographs, sculptures, video, and audio) into VR through Unity3d. This hands-on workshop, led by Sarah Rothberg, will cover strategies such as retexturing models, importing audio and video, quick and dirty modeling techniques, and photogrammetry, and is suitable for conference attendees who have taken the intro to Unity workshop and want to practice and expand on their skills. Participants will walk away with a personalized navigable 3d environment ready to export to any VR device.

About the Instructor:

Sarah Rothberg's tumultuous relationship with VR began with creating critical artwork in reaction to Facebook's purchase of Oculus, but she became intrigued (and maybe even won over) by the medium. Her interest in VR is its relationship to memory and the imagination. She works as a VR producer at the Samsung Accelerator, teaches cinematic VR at Tisch Film and the Interactive Telecommunications Program, and creates peculiar virtual worlds using drawings, photographs, and video. Her work has been shown at Bitforms, REVERSE, Pioneer Works, online, and elsewhere.

Participant Prereqs:

iOS Users, follow the guide here: https://developers.google.com/cardboard/unity/get-started-ios

Android users follow the guide here: https://developers.google.com/cardboard/unity/get-started

NOTE: Both iOS and Android users will have to download the latest version of Unity as well as the cardboard SDK. iOS users should also be aware that in order to port the game to your phone, you will need an iOS developer account.

//////////////

Sensorium Works: Live Action VR Workshop

Instructors: Matthew Niederhauser and John Fitzgerald  (Sensorium Works)

Advanced Session - 4-7PM

Description:

Shooting seamless live action 360° video content for VR experiences remains one of the largest production challenges in the medium. In order to give an overview of this niche in the ever-evolving VR landscape, the Live Action VR Workshop will explore the history of 360° video/photographic capture, consumer/DIY/professional VR camera systems, VR sound recording, aesthetic considerations for the equirectangular format, stitching, and other potential post production wizardry for creating immersive worlds. At the end of the workshop, Sensorium Works cofounders Matthew Niederhauser and John Fitzgerald will walk through a basic shoot of a monoscopic live action 360° video scene from start to finish.

About the Instructors:

Sensorium Works is a creative studio that works at the intersection of documentary, art, and technology. The studio produces cinematic, photographic, and virtual reality content for a wide range of media platforms, exhibitions, and installations. Collaborative to their cores, cofounders Matthew Niederhauser and John Fitzgerald focus on a number of projects investigating urbanism, transhumanism, and social activism through partnerships with the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, the Cyborg Foundation, and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

Participant Prereqs:

No requirements, but people should feel free to bring in their own VR rigs and/or have Kolor AVP/APG installed on their laptops.

//////////////

Volumetric Video in Unity with DepthKit

Instructors: James George and Alexander Porter

Advanced Session - 4-7PM

Description:

The workshop will introduce DepthKit, a software workflow for do-it-yourself volumetric capture and playback in the Unity game engine. Participants will receive a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art in volumetric capture. From light fields to depth sensors to 4D photogrammetry, we will see how this exciting new landscape is quickly emerging. Then, we’ll get hands on creating our own room-scale virtual reality experience using live-action characters. We’ll discover and discuss the design opportunities and challenges inherent in creating 6-DOF stories with volumetric video.

About the Instructors:

James George addresses the emotional response to science fiction technologies as they become reality. Developer of DepthKit, a volumetric cinema system, James has pioneered techniques to equip the next generation of storytellers with a new vernacular for interactive filmmaking. James was the first artist in residence at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington; Guest Researcher at Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media; Resident at Eyebeam Art + Technology center; Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon; and currently teaches computational portraiture at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program. James is the recipient of Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes’ Award for Transmedia, an Ars Electronica Honorary Mention, and was named one of the greatest digital artists of the 21st century by Complex Magazine.

Alexander Porter is an experimental photographer. He combines an appreciation for photographic traditions with emerging computational photography and scanning methods. He is a head of product at DepthKit, a tool for creating cinematic imagery with commercially available depth sensors. He has been facilitating access to this technique by teaching workshops internationally and creating experimental films and installations.

Participant Prereqs:

Laptop with an internet connection and Unity 5 preinstalled. Unity can be found here: https://unity3d.com/

rachel rossin 1.jpeg

Co-presented By:


Co-presented By:


Kill Screen is a videogame arts and culture company that wants to inspire a life well-played.

Based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, Kill Screen creates editorial through a website and a magazine as well as organizes events such as the groundbreaking Arcade at the Museum of Modern Art and the Kill Screen Festival which Mashable called  “the TED of videogames.” The New Yorker called Kill Screen "the McSweeney's of interactive media" and TIME said the writing was so "polished that they might help convince doubters that games are worth taking seriously."

As a content strategy and development partner, Kill Screen works with brands like Intel, GE, PBS, and eBay to help them unlock the power of play.

 

NEW INC is the first museum-led incubator and a hotbed for cultural innovation. Extending the New Museum's mission  of supporting "New Art, New Ideas," NEW INC brings together a cohort of 100 creative practitioners working across disciplines to examine and invent the future through applied art and design thinking. Virtual Reality is a major focus at NEW INC. 

Jacolby 2.png

Sponsors and Partners


Sponsors and Partners