And here's what we did:
- Transformed Pacific Science Center Laser Dome into a 180º screening venue, installing a 12 projector projection-mapped system with positional sound - thank you Omnispace & Optima!
- Programmed 2 evenings of screenings at the Laser Dome featuring the work of leading immersive content makers Vrse, RYOT, Wevr and The New York Times.
- Launched SIFFX at the Laser Dome with over 300 in attendance for Opening Night. The performance troupe Vis a Vis orchestrated the evening, taking surveys on the red carpet and providing instruction for the collective cardboard viewing experiment. Joe Chen, Executive Technical Producer at Vrse (Within), spoke from a creative technologist's perspective about this moment in immersive media and the process of collaborating with artists. The after-party featured signature drinks, a 360º photo booth, video projection by Coldbrew Collective, and music by KEXP DJ Darek Mazzone.
- Brought over 1,000 people through the 3 galleries: X-Gallery, X-Hub and Nonny de la Peña Pavilion. For many it was their first time experiencing VR / AR / 360º. We were fortunate to have the in-kind support of the leading gear manufacturers. Samsung provided 30 Gear VRs and arranged for 9 ambassadors to staff the galleries; Valve loaned 12 HTC Vive systems for the Nonny de la Pena Retrospective & X-Hub galleries; and Oculus sent a representative and system to demo Lost.
- Premiered work by Seattle artists who are moving into the 360º space.
- Curated the first-ever retrospective of Nonny de la Peña's pioneering immersive journalism, showcasing the evolution of her groundbreaking work from Hunger in Los Angeles to Project Syria and Kiya.
- Featured talks by pioneering artists, creative technologist and thinkers: Joe Chen of Vrse (Within), the "Grandfather of VR" Tom Furness, the "Godmother of VR" Nonny de la Peña, and Toby Coffey, Head of Digital Development at the UK National Theatre.
- Programmed 2 days of panels and workshops, ranging in theme from What's Old Is New (the history of art/technology intersections), to Cyber Feminism, The Business of X, 360º Cinematography, Story Ecosystems, and World Building. Panelists included: Chet Feliszek (Valve), Kiki Wolfkill (Microsoft), Eren Aksu (Emblematic Group), Daryle Connors (filmmaker, game developer, author), Robin Oppenheimer (media scholar), Bruce Oberg (Sucker Punch), Ted Youngs (Panogs), Emily Eifler (eleVR), Tom Sanocki (Limitless, Pixar), Kim Voynar & Nathaniel Luke Pinzon (Wondertek Labs), Steven Schardt (vr.org), Michael Franz (Panogs), Eva Hoerth (The Rat Lab), Kel O'Neill (The Ark), James Nestor & Sandy Smolan (The Click Effect), James Kaelan & Blessing Yen (The Visitor), Josh Daniels (Pyramid Communications), and Milica Zec & Winslow Turner (Giant). The sessions were live-streamed by Front Row Live.
- In collaboration with Washington Filmworks, invited 17 Seattle artists, from a range of disciplines, to participate in the Fly Story incubation program.
- Convened a conversation with arts, culture and civic leaders, including representatives from the Office of Arts & Culture, Mayor's Office of Film and Music and Virtual World Society, about the future of immersive storytelling in Seattle.
- Garnered coverage from all the major local press outlets including: City Arts, The Stranger, The Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Met, Geek Wire, KUOW, KCTS, Seattle Channel, and KOMO.
Images courtesy of Evan Chakroff (top) and Marty Oppenheimer