By Dean Moses
The 54th annual New York Film Festival has arrived. The Spring Creek Sun will be bringing exclusive comments and photographs from the New York film world’s biggest event, starting with Convergence, described as an array of immersive experiences that redefine the idea of cinematic storytelling.
Convergence challenges the conventional narrative by creating a landscape with which to tell a unique set of tales by way of alternative methods, methods such as augmented reality and virtual reality. In order to comprehend these new mediums we must first understand the creators and their motivations for creating, on the grounds that these men and women are the lens through which we see their work, and the significance of said work.
October 2016 marks the fifth consecutive year the New York Film Festival has held this celebration of innovative artistic expression, but the first year the press has been afforded the ability to preview its offerings. The event will be free for public consumption beginning October 1. Selecting an exhibit from such a substantial demonstration is no easy task. It is with this in mind I have featured two of the most fascinating demonstrations consumers should discover, so let’s meet the creative minds behind these fresh projects on display.
Free Installation: Priya’s Mirror (October)
October 1st to 16th from 12pm to 5:30pm
Meet the Makers on Sunday, October 2nd at 2pm
The inspirational story of Priya, a rape survivor and superhero, is an annual comic book that shines a much-needed light on the violence against women in India. Priya gives female victims an outlet and a voice, exhibiting both their struggles and strengths to the world. In this issue an acid attack survivor aids our heroine. We follow the duo as they take on the forces of evil. The tale of Priya’s Mirror is made even more palpable and relatable through the use of augmented reality, a medium you may be familiar with thanks to the likes of Pokémon GO. Taking a snapshot of the book’s pages with a smartphone stimulates the characters to come alive, a remarkable relationship between technology and ideals. Monica Singh, acid attack survivor and founder of the Monica Singh foundation, was on hand to give the Spring Creek Sun brief insight into super heroism.
Monica Singh (MS): “This is our second edition. The first one went viral globally and I don’t know how many thousands of copies we just gave out. This time our foundation is trying to raise funds by asking people to buy it from us so that we can do something for the victims.”
SCS: What feedback have you gotten from readers?
MS: “Readers have always given us great comments and love our work, that’s why we came up with a second edition. We always try to take a social cause that is happening.”
Virtual Reality Experience: Ricerca VR
Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd
From 12pm to 5:30pm
Art is a significant part of the human experience, and one of the most polarizing vehicles for expression. As a species—and individuals—we constantly seek new ways to articulate our philosophies and feelings through creativity. Yo-Yo Lin’s Ricerca VR tackles this quest by virtue of two unique means: a visually striking amalgamation of stop motion and 2D animation, all in a simulated 3D space using virtual reality. After her installation concluded its run in the gallery, Lin furnished her work with new life, rendering it in a virtual world, thereby allowing individuals to experience her artwork anywhere via a VR headset. With the headset adorned, one can perceive Lin’s art in a way that almost makes it indistinguishable from the gallery space. This new technological undertaking not only allows us to appreciate art in a novel form, it could also provide us with new methods to educate. Yo-Yo Lin spoke with me about the creative process.
Yo-Yo Lin(YYL): “In total this project took about two years to make. It was mostly learning software, textures and what would be the best way to put everything together without having too much information for the computer. Everything in virtual reality is really small right now because computers can barely handle it.”
SCS: “What inspired you to create this piece?”
YYL: “What gave me the idea to use virtual reality was mainly the difficulty of explaining what my art piece was to people because it is an ethereal and abstract experience. It was really hard for me to tell people about it and make them exited. And showing them in a video didn’t do it justice. So I ended up learning how to use Unity and rebuilding the entire instillation for virtual reality. I also draw and do a lot of tech stuff, so [virtual reality] is the perfect medium.”
SCS: “What do you hope to see from this technology in the future?”
YYL: “I hope there will be more artists in the future working with game developers and creating virtual art galleries. I see it as a tool in showcasing art pieces like this one that exist all over the place. All kinds of instillation artists use space to showcase their art pieces, it would be amazing to see them anywhere. Instead of having to make the trek to that private art gallery you could click on a button and be transported to an art piece.”