Event Date: Wednesday, January 17, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Admission is free. Tell your friends.
Location: Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle
We’re seeing amazing, and sometimes stunning, developments in new technologies that give us new views into the world around us. What are the options for these technologies in terms of art, creativity, storytelling? What’s amazing about VR, AR, 360º? Read on below for more details. (And note the Wednesday date for this conversation, instead of the regular Tuesday evening.)
The Guests (see guest bios below)
Gretchen Burger, artist, co-founder of fearless360º
Benjamin Van Citters, artist, software developer
Ivan Evdokimov, CEO, Zengalt
Bernard Yee, executive producer, program manager, Oculus
In this series, we have on occasion looked at specific media for creativity: sculpture, drawing, video, and so forth. This time we’re exploring a new set of media: virtual reality, augmented reality, 360º immersion; all of which we can see under a broader category: mixed reality.
We’re employing this series to continue the discussions of art, science, and technology begun with 9e2 in 2016.
No other technology has had such potential to transport viewers, to immerse them so directly in other realities, and to give them the potentials to create their own worlds. The question: what can we do with these realities that hasn’t been done before? What is exciting about creating new worlds, or twisting this one? What is the potential for telling our stories, for creating art?
Where do the new media stand today as tools for making art? And where are we going? Where should we be going?
Example: One of the hits on virtual reality is that it is limited by the headset, so that only one person at a time can view a virtual reality installation. But at a Town Hall lecture a few weeks ago, virtual reality pioneer and new tech philosopher Jaron Lanier suggested that he wouldn’t want the clunky VR headset to go away in favor of something more streamlined, that can be worn all the time. For him, donning the clunky headset is a ritual of passage, a concrete signifier that one has entered a completely new experience.
What are the astounding things that one can do with these technologies? Come and talk about it.
Meanwhile, we’re guest curating one episode in Davida Ingram’s public programs series at the Seattle Public Library, on January 29. Entitled “A 9e2 Conversation: Seattle as a Place for Art, Science, and Technology,” the discussion will look at how Seattle, as a noted science and tech center, fosters—or perhaps doesn’t foster—interplay between art, science, and technology. Guests include Susie Lee, Sandy Cioffi, Christopher Shaw, and others. Find details at https://www.facebook.com/events/1971920699735828/
The Guests in Detail
Gretchen Burger is an artist, educator, media-maker, and co-founder of fearless360º, a start-up working at the intersection of art, culture, education, storytelling and technology to develop content, programming, and curriculum for immersive / VR / AR / 360º media. Gretchen has an MFA in Video Art & Installation from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has taught video production and editing at the Art Institute of Seattle, Seattle University, Cornish College of the Arts, and the Northwest Film Forum. A long time activist and documentary filmmaker, Gretchen serves on the board of the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network and is a co-founder of the Seattle Documentary Association.
By day Benjamin Van Citters is a software developer, but by night he is a procedural and software artist. Based in Seattle, Washington, Ben’s work plays with iterative mathematical algorithms, digital imaging, data, video and audio. He has performed live visuals with musicians at Seattle festivals Bumbershoot, Sasquatch, Decibel Festival and Capitol Hill Block Party. His “Mind at Large,” a site-specific virtual reality installation co-created with Brandon Aleson and Reilly Donovan, is currently on exhibit at Interstitial, a gallery in Georgetown.
Ivan Evdokimov is the CEO of Zengalt, which creates mixed reality experiences for museums, architects, and other industries. Their Vyzn technology allows for creating HoloLens experiences without writing code, while “Land of Dinosaurs” is a HoloLens application that creates an expanded museum experience.
Bernard Yee is currently Executive Producer/TPM at Oculus on the Oculus Rex team in Seattle. Oculus Rex has created the seminal VR experiences for Oculus current generation of hardware: Dreamdeck (showcasing final shipping optics and tracking), Toybox (exploring the idea of social presence in a shared VR space), Farlands (a launch game for the Rift), Prologue (an introduction to VR experience for the GearVR) and First Contact (an introduction to hand presence via the Oculus Touch controllers).
Bernie has worked in the game industry on a wide variety of games and genres in both development and publishing roles, most recently at PopCap (lead producer on Plants vs Zombies 2 and Peggle 2), and Bungie (Destiny). Prior to moving to Seattle, Bernie worked at smaller game startups in New York City, and also Harmonix (Rock Band), Atari, Disney Interactive and Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest). He also taught game design and production at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.