Seminar Schedule (subject to change)

I will make every effort to follow the syllabus as outlined, but reserve the right to make scheduling changes when further discussion of a given topic is required or to take advantage of unforeseen events and opportunities. Web resources will be added throughout the term for enrichment and to reflect students’ interests. Please check the class blog for up-to-date scheduling information and last minute changes.

Week 1 September 16th, Introduction to the course/Labyrinth


Peter Weibel “Preface” (Future Cinema – FC)

Timothy Druckery “Fugitive Realities” (FC)

To screen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlaZWrmez8A Evolution of Cinema and the birth of a new art form – Tom Perlmutter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL0gfk1ANbM Film technologies changing cinema

Hololens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgakdcEzVwg


Ada/Ava Main Stage Performance -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/manual-cinema/

Holywood as futurist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ixhH48PhhI

NPR: How are Screens Changing us?


PUBLIC EVENT you should attend:  FIVARS September 19-20th

FIVARS – the inaugural Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories is the first Canadian festival of its kind.  Here in Toronto for two 8-hour days.

FIVARS will showcase a new wave of filmmakers and content producers who push the boundaries of virtual reality (VR) narrative forms. The two-day festival runs from September 19-20, 2015 at UG3 Live (77 Peter Street) from 11am-7pm. Advanced tickets $10, door price $15. This is a 19+ event.  Please get your tickets here. And enter the discount code: “VANGARD” for 20% off!

MansLaughter, the world’s “first feature length VR film,” will have its world premiere at the festival. The film, viewed in 15 minute segments, details four characters’ experiences to total a 60 minute run time.

The festival features an interactive series of 15 international short VR films with capacity for up to six viewers at a time. FIVARS brings the best in VR films from around the world including New Zealand, Russia, US, UK, Germany, Norway and Canada.

To see the complete lineup and ticketing information visit the official site at http://FIVARS.net

Week 2, September 23rd, Screens

Due: Short reflection paper


Josef Svoboda “Polyvision” (FC)

Peter Weibel “Expanded Cinema” (FC)

Randall Packer “Pepsi Pavillion” (FC)

Andre Bazin “Myth of Total Cinema”

Sobchack Meta-Morphing “At the Still Point of the Turning World” and Meta Stasis”.

Chris Salter, The Projected Image: Video, Film and the Performative screen, Entangled: Technology and the transformation of Performance

Screens: Public 40 – http://public.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/public/issue/view/2058/showToc (no need to read everything – explore 3 or 4 or the very short pieces)


Week 3, September 30th Virtual Reality

Oliver Grau, “Intermedia Stages of Virtual Reality in the Twentieth Century”

Anne-Marie Duguet “Jeffrey Shaw: from expanded cinema to virtual reality”

Eduardo Kac “Beyond the Spatial Paradigm: Time and Cinematic form in Holographic Art”

Agnes Hegedus “Configuring the Cave” (FC)


Unlocking VR’s Potential


1979 Revolution Game (2015)

By Ink Stories (Navid Khonsari and Vassiliki Khonsari) Produced by Jeff Birns, Jason Schreiber, Andres Perez-Duarte, and Adam Neuhas. Experience the Iranian political upheaval of the late 1970s as young photojournalist Reza, making life-or-death decisions in a game of personal betrayal and social disorder.

Clouds Over Sidra (2015)

By Gabo Arora and Chris Milk Directed and Produced by Gabo Arora and Barry Pousman. Produced by VRSE.works. Presented in partnership with the United Nations. Commissioned by the United Nations, Clouds Over Sidra was created at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Twelve-year-old Sidra leads the user around the camp, home to 84,000 Syrian refugees, as she goes about her day.


Nonny de el Pena Journalism in the Age of Virtual Reality -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/journalism-in-the-age-of-virtual-reality/

Week 4, October 7th, Augmented Reality


Jason Farman, Mapping and Representations of Space Mobile interface theory: Embodied Space and Locative media

Blair McIntyre, Jay Bolter, Maribeth Gandy “Presence and the Aura of Meaningful Places”


DART – Georgia tech (online)

Judith Barry “Imagination/Dead Imagine” (FC)

GM Hoyagimyan “Notes on Immersion” (FC)

Michael Heim, “The Cyberspace Dialectic” in Lunenfield, Digital Dialectic (online)

Gaston Bachelard The Poetics of Space

Lev Manovich “poetics of augmented space”

Screen in class:

Beau Lotto: Understanding Perception -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/beau-lotto-understanding-perception/

Gaia Dempsey: Knowledge Transfer -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/gaia-dempsey-knowledge-transfer/

Untitled on Google Cube (2014) »

By Google’s Creative Lab, Sydney and Semi-Permanent Directed by Steve Ayson and Damien Shatford. Produced by the Sweet Shop. Google Cube is an experimental interface for interactive films. In Untitled, viewers navigate among six plots mapped to the six sides of the Cube. The stories, which range from tales of rebirth to tragedy, unfold simultaneously; turn the Cube to discover how they connect.


Meta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7I7JuQXttw

52 card psycho http://52cardpsycho.com


OSC pop-up pieces

Toronto Museum Project


Walter Benjamin “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (online)

Mobile Bristol (online)

Immersive environments lab http://gears.aset.psu.edu/viz/projects/vr/iel/

immersive media telemersion system (spherical video) www.immersivemedia.com

Week 5, October 14th, Hypermedia/narrative/digital storytelling

Due: Presentation of possible projects and essay topics (this is an opportunity for you to receive feedback from the entire class in order to assist you in framing and writing your proposals).


Vanevar Bush “As We may Think” (online)

Grahame Weinbren “Another dip into the ocean streams of story” (FC)

N. Kathryn Hayles “Timely Art: Hybridity in new Cinema and Electronic Poetry” (online)

Michel Chaouli “ How Interactive Can Fiction Be?” (online)

Adalaide Morris “New media Poetics: As We May Think/How to Write” in New media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts and Theories

Screen in class: Interactive Video 101 -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/interactive-video-101/


“Interactive Cinema group, MIT Media Lab” (FC)

Lumiere festival of interactive film and storytelling www.hyperbole.com/lumiere/entries.html

Welcome to Pine Point (2011/2015)

By the Goggles (Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge) and the NFB Digital Studio Vancouver. Produced by The National Film Board of Canada. Pine Point was a mining town in Northwest Canada that was abandoned when its mine closed. This interactive web documentary brings Pine Point back to life using interviews, photographs, text, and home videos to construct a digital scrapbook of the town.


Week 6 October 21st, Database Cinema


Martha Kinder “Designing a Database Cinema” (FC)

Lev Manovich “Soft Cinema (FC)

Lev Manovich “database/narrative” (online)

Chris Marker “Immemory” (FC)

Thomas Elsaesser, “The New Film History as Media Archeology.”


To be screened  in class:

Soft cinema CD-ROM

Immemory CD-ROM

Korsakow cinema examples

Possibilia (2014)

By DANIELS (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert) Presented by Xbox Entertainment Studios. Produced by PRETTYBIRD in collaboration with Interlude In Possibilia, a man and a woman are having a fight directed by you. This interactive short film, starring Alex Karpovsky (Girls) and Zoe Jarman (The Mindy Project), lets you determine the tone and actions of a couple breaking up.


Bear 71

Bear 71 (2012)

By Leanne Allison, Jeremy Mendes, and the NFB Digital Studio Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. A 20-minute interactive film, Bear 71 tells the story of a female grizzly bear in Banff National Park, dubbed Bear 71 by the park rangers who radio-collar and track her.

Week 7  October 28th Game Narratives and Architectures


Espen Aarseth “Ergodic texts” (online)

Noah Wardrip-Fruin  First Person : New Media as Story, Performance, and Game  (excerpt)

Burnett, “Computer Games” (online)

“Massively Multiplayer Online Games” (online)

To screen in class: Tracy Fullerton, Game Designer, Interactive Media Division, USC School of Cinematic Arts http://worldbuilding.institute/videos/building-worlds-pt-3-tracy-fullerton

Play As Process Feb 15, 2011 // Play As Process // 5D at the 2011 Berlinale Talent Campus
“Game Design as Narrative Architecture” (Jenkins)

Recommended: http://www.machinima.com/
Blur + sharpen; time machines www.iml.Annenberg.edu/blursharpen

Noah Wardrip-Fruin  First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, MIT 2004

Espen Aarseth Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature John Hopkins University Press, 1997

Week 8 November  4th Games2

Due: Paper/ project proposals.

Jane McGonnigal Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Tracy Fullerton Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, & Playtesting Games (Gama Network Series)

Creating for the Multi-Platform context Mobile Nation

Screen: Way to Go (2015)  By Vincent Morisset with Philippe Lambert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit, and Caroline Robert. Produced by Hugues Sweeney and Boris Razon in association with the National Film Board of Canada. Way to Go is a playable film that rewards the curious on a walk through a mysterious, colorful, 3-D forest.


Amy Fredeen  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/world-games/   the first indigenous-owned video game company.

Chris Charla: Level Up -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/level-up/


Connected Immersionhttp://futureofstorytelling.org/video/connected-immersion/

Explore: Alternate Reality Games: Majestic,Yellow Arrow, I Love Bees

Works on the Alternate reality Gaming Network http://www.argn.com/
“Storytelling in New Media: The case of alternate reality gaming, 2001-2009” (Jeffrey Kim, et. al.)

Portal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TluRVBhmf8w

Week 9, November 11th, Mobility/Connectivity/Distributed networks


Kathy Rae Huffman “Video, networks and Architecture; some physical realities of electronic space”
Deleuze “Conclusions” (Cinema II—The Time Image)
Sabine Himmelsbach “The Interactive Potential of Distributed Networks”
Blast Theory Can you see me now? Barcelona
Blast Theory’s award-winning chase game, played live online and on the streets

Jean Baudrillard, The Ecstasy of Communication,

    Fluid Screens

Being there: uncanny medium, methodological multiplicity and proliferative embodied creativity in The Haunting  Mobile Nation

The Haunting: voices from beyond in mobile experience design  Mobile Nation

Connected Immersion -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/connected-immersion/


Storytelling and Big Data

Artist Matt Adams’s work playfully explores the storytelling potential of new technologies. His present fascination is big data. How will stories be influenced by our ability to learn personal details about our audiences? What are the limits of personalization?




Julian Bleeker WI-FI Bedouin


Andrea Zapp (ed.) Networked narrative Environments as Imaginary Spaces of being

LiveCinema “expressive interface for cinema editing as live performance” (online)
Office Voodoo – interactive film installation for two people (online)

Birdman project – interactive dance 5 sites from US, 5 from Brazil (online)

Week 10, November 18th, Digital Cinema/animation


Angela Ndalianis, “Virtuosity, Special-Effects Spectacles and Architectures of the Senses”Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment

Lev Manovich “What is digital cinema?”
Vivian Sobchack “Nostalgia for Digital Object”
Ron Burnett, “Reanimating the World”
Sean Cubitt, “Vectors of Effect”


Glen Keane: Step Into the Page -  http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/glen-keane-step-into-the-page/

George Lucas on media convergence, Siggraph 2005


Lev Manovich: Little Movies (online)

Nora Barry “Telling Stories as Screens: A History of Web Cinema”

Week 11, November 25th, Translocality/Globalization/Tactical Media


Alexander Galloway, “Tactical Media” (Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization)

Gloria Sutton, “Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie-Drome: Networking the Subject” (FC);

Michael Uwemedimo and Joshua Oppenheimer, for Vision Machine, “History and Histrionics: Vision Machine’s Digital Poetics” (Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema)

Gene Youngblood “What We Must Do” (Afterword, Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema)

Norman Klein “The Future of the Cinematic City” (FC)

Screen in class:
Conversation on Global Networks/Urban Spaces Norman Klein

Urban Networks/Global Networks Saskia Sassen

Week 12, December 2nd: Final class

Party and mini conference

Final projects due

Classes end December 7th, 2015