Interactive media, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming bold, new mediums of choice for artists. From Sept. 13-15, a selection of new hybrid, immersive and interactive digital media will be exhibited in the fourth annual Slamdance DIG (Digital, Interactive and Gaming art) showcase. Free to the public, DIG 2018 will take place at venues in downtown Los Angeles, including the Ace Hotel and the Los Angeles Artist Collective.
The showcase has two competitive categories this year: one for established artists premiering new work and another for new and emerging artists.
Islands/Seom, one of the works in the New Competition lineup, was created by a team of CalArtians: Shih-lien Eugene Yen (Theater MFA 18), Anna Libbie Grossman (Theater MFA 19), Jeffrey Huang (Music MFA 19), Jungwoo Kim (Theater MFA 19), Gahyae Ryu (Theater MFA 19), Jihyun Her (Theater MFA 19), Jinyoung Sung (Theater MFA 20), Peiyu Lai (Theater MFA 19) and Jawon Kim (Theater BFA 20). Inspired by "a cube in a desert" personality test, Islands/Seom is an augmented reality project that explores the metaphysical possibilities of memory.
From the program:
Islands/Seom creates the extended existence of those that we care about and transforms their being into landscape. Our physical bodies will disappear, but through remembrance and metamorphoses, a part of our being shall live on. Islands/Seom is about creating the extended existence of people that we admire and care for. You will see a series of cube sculptures, each containing the belief of an emerging artist. View them through our custom AR app. The avatar of the artist will reanimate on top. Listen to their manifesto. Send them to a virtual world called Lacus, where they grow organically into unique ecosystems. Through gaming, we catalyze collaboration with their persona, against the odds of distance, personalities, and culture.
The team of artists behind Islands/Seom began developing their project in an augmented reality course led by CalArts faculty Peter Flaherty, Donovan Keith, and Jackson Campbell. Islands/Seom was completed in Spring 2018 and exhibited in Yen's thesis show, as well as in the CalArts Digital Expo.
In an email, Yen wrote about the most challenging and the most interesting aspects of working with AR:
Our biggest challenges were optimizing the performance of mobile devices and figuring out how to use the least amount of didactic language to convey our game directions. In short, we asked: how can we let the AR experience blend in and flow intuitively for the users?
As for the most interesting part, for me it was to see people "forget" the technology itself and actually listen to what the interviewed artist had to say. AR is most effective when it becomes a magic "portal" that draws people into the content regardless of the fact you are holding a phone.
Curated by Slamdance co-founder Peter Baxter and DIG organizer Dekker Dreyer, DIG 2018 features panel discussions live-streamed and presented in VR, and a comprehensive exhibition of projects that cover a wide range of topics like life after death, intersectional queer existence, artificial intelligence, and anxiety and escapism in a modern world.
For the full schedule visit Slamdance DIG's website.
Read more about the artists: Meet the Innovators Behind DIG 2018
Slamdance DIG 2018
Thursday-Friday, Sept. 13-14, 5 pm-midnight
Saturday, Sept. 15, noon-midnight
Full schedule on http://showcase.slamdance.com/DIG.
929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Artist Collective
630 St. Vincent Court, Los Angeles, CA