Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 and Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory at York University, Canada

CFC Media Lab’s “Quick Guide to Making Passive VR”

Hey everyone,

In advance of Amit and I presenting our research findings on VR Cinema next week, I’d like to share this interesting quick infographic posted on the CFC’s Media Lab (my old alma mater) blog. Here is the link: http://cfccreates.com/news/700-cfc-media-lab-s-quick-guide-to-making-passive-vr

The guide is fairly simple and straightforward in explanation, and also offers a handy Tools & Software Resource Guide. Looks like the lab will post another guide next week, on Interactive VR. (Perhaps it will be in time for our presentation – which will give us another handy visualization to review!)

Lastly, Amit and I wanted to update you in advance that we have decided not to proceed with inviting Scott to class (for our presentation), but instead are aiming to do a video interview with him which we can then present to the class. This will retain the intimacy of our class environment, and also make for a more efficient use of our time.


Tue, November 29 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Lisa

The Hamilton Cast’s commentary (as interactive theatre)

Hi all,
I just wanted to share this commentary by theatre reviewer for the Globe & Mail, Kelly Nestruck: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/when-hamilton-actor-appealed-to-mike-pence-theatre-showed-its-strength/article32946761/
I’m sharing partly because of our experience together in the wake up the U.S. election, but also in connection to my final project. I’m looking at the various ways digital screens can facilitate and aid the experience of staged theatre. In particular, my position is that “proscenium stage” is one of the original “screens” of performance experience and while there has been a lot of modern discourse on breaking the 4th wall, but what the cast of Hamilton did during the curtain call actually took theatre back to a more political time and overturned the rules of the perceived and established theatrical screen to offer a new interactive voice to and WITH their audience. Just stuff I’ve been turning over in my head!

Hi all,

I just wanted to share this commentary on the Hamilton cast’s gesture to Mike Pence by theatre reviewer for the Globe & Mail, Kelly Nestruck.

I’m sharing partly because of the experience some of us shared together in the wake up the U.S. election, but also in connection to my final project. I’m looking at the ways digital screens facilitate and aid the experience of staged theatre. In particular, my position is that “proscenium stage” is one of the original “screens” of performance experience and while there has been a lot of modern discourse on breaking the 4th wall, what the cast of the Hamilton musical did during their curtain call actually took theatre back to a more political time and overturned the rules of the perceived and established theatrical screen to offer a new interactive voice to and WITH their audience. Just stuff I’ve been turning over in my head!

Wed, November 23 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Anita

“4D” Virtual Reality

Hey everyone!

Here is the video I was mentioning in class today, in case anyone wants to watch 4D in action (featuring the HTC Vive).

Wed, November 16 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Callie

Exhibit inspired by Bachelard’s “Poetics of Space” opens tonight!

Infinity of Intimate Space

This exhibition opens tonight and runs from Nov 16 – Dec 10, 2016.

Here is the description from the website:

InterAccess is pleased to present its 15th annual emerging artists exhibition. In celebration of this milestone year, the program has been renamed to Current, reflecting the present voices of emerging curators and artists. “Current” refers to the now, of course, but it is also an energetic charge that causes light, heat, and all sorts of electronic life; an apt metaphor for emergent creative practices within the ever-expanding field of new media.

This year’s Current Emerging Curator is Aliya Karmali, a recent U of T graduate. Interested in how our spaces create and hold meaning, Karmali developed a call for submissions centred on the poetics of space. The resulting exhibition, Infinity of Intimate Space, features four emerging artists whose works explore space through memories and dreams. The exhibition is inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s book, The Poetics of Space, which discusses the phenomenologist’s study of the sites of our intimate lives. From the intimacy of our houses, to desolate landscapes and brimming cities, to the deconstruction of digital forms, what reveries do we explore within the spaces we immerse ourselves in?

Curated by Current Emerging Curator Aliya Karmali. Featuring works by Jennifer Akkermans, Ilze Briede (Kavi), Connor Buck, and Venessa Heddle.

Opening Reception
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7-9pm

Curator Tour
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 1-2pm

For more information (and gallery hours), visit the link above.

Wed, November 16 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Dave

MIT Conference

Hi everyone,
I was following the interesting conference MIT about VR organized last May and happy to share a PDF of its summary . super interesting :file:///Users/amitbreuer/Desktop/MIT_OpenDocLab_VirtuallyThereConference.pdf

Wed, November 16 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Amit

The Conjuring 2 VR Trailer

Stumbled upon this video on Facebook. Interesting to see the use of horror conventions in VR… as well as users’ reactions!


Tue, November 15 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Maddison

The Poetics of Augmented Space

The landscape of media is rapidly changing, and with this change comes the cacophony of experimentation and the yearning to keep up. This growth has led to the ubiquity and commercialization of information, to the point where both our urban spaces and our personal lives are covered in screens. Lev Manovich attempts to understand these phenomena by discussing the ‘dynamic between spatial form and the information which has been with us for a long time and… functions differently in the computer culture of today’ (3).

Manovich starts by describing the rise of virtual space. It started in the 1990s with computers and cyberspace. It then moved on to Virtual Reality, inspired by the graphics of complex websites made for millions of users. This led to the subsequent rise and fall of the dot com era, which (around the time of the Y2K scare) in turn created a user landscape that found emailing and downloading MP3s to be quotidian. By the turn of the century, the saturation of the virtual space led to the desire to start exploring the physical space. Manovich then provides examples of tech applications that deal with data management in a physical space.

  • Video Surveillance : cameras, microphones, GPS. These take the physical world and translate it to data.
  • Cellspace technologies: tap to pay, Siri, email, web surfing. These take data and bring it to the physical world.
  • Electronic displays: large scale displays for the public

Manovich then shifts his attention to technological examples that are pushing research paradigms forward. I will only list a few here that I find are the most relevant to our class.

  • Ubiquitous Computing: moving a singular larger scale computing to multiple handheld devices
  • Augmented Reality: overlaying dynamic information over a user’s FOV
  • Intelligent Spaces: spaces that use interactions to create ‘smart’ responses and assistance

These technologies use various techniques to create what Manovich calls ‘augmented space’. This is the process of ‘overlaying the physical space with… dynamic data’ (6). Augmented space is derived from augmented reality and virtual reality, where AR is digital information in a real space, and VR is entirely virtual. The term space comes from the fact that, as Manovich states, ‘we are gradually moving into the next paradigm… augmenting the human also comes to mean augmenting the whole space in which someone lives’ (8).

If we are to start examining the space, there are various approaches to analyze. The first Manovich suggests is architectural theory. He posits the problem with augmented space is the method with which you must overlay the data in a physical space (9). He then uses two examples to illustrate methods that have been effective at creating augmented spaces.

  • Janet Cardiff: a Canadian artist who created ‘audio walks’. Using an audio track played on a portable CD player, the user would follow instructions and receive a narrative through dialogue and sound effects. Manovich states that although the technology was basic, Cardiff was able to achieve a truly effective method of layering information over a physical space, by using the connection between audio and visual stimuli.
  • Daniel Libeskind: an architect who designed the Jewish Museum Berlin. Libeskind created a map plotting the pre-WWII addresses of Jews living near the museum. Various points were connected and projected onto parts of the museum creating an image blending the past and present.

Manovich then segues into a retrospective of the use of artistic spaces. He starts with framed paintings being placed on walls. This is a simple two-dimensional use of space. This is followed by art galleries incorporating the use of all four walls for various paintings. This culminates in the idea of an art object itself being three-dimensional. ‘Finally, the white cube becomes a cube – rather than just a collection of 2-D surfaces’ (10). There was a clear progression from creating something to look at, to creating something to be inside and now creating a space with contextual overlaid information. While the art scene was making creative strides towards the third dimension, film had already been commercialized. It had been commodified and standardized. Each viewing would have the same environmental features: a dark room, rows of seating and a projector showing a 2D film. Manovich argues that art galleries represented a white cube, a space for a one-of-a- kind highbrow production, constantly pushing against the frame of 2D and stating how the ‘physical appearance of an object and the proposed mode of interaction with an object were open for experimentation’ (12). The direct antithesis is the black box of film, consistent, safe and commercial.

The white cube functions as a sort of contemplative artistic space, but there are new areas of experimentation. These spaces function as the next step for spacial use. They are being integrated and used in conjunction with each other, creating a flow of augmented experiences.

  • Contemporary urban architecture
  • Video displays in contemporary spaces for public consumption
  • Retail environments
  • Multimedia music events

The next creator discussed was Robert Venturi. He argued that architecture should be heavily influenced by commercial culture. He saw electronic displays as iconographic representation, a more purist method of using information surfaces. Manovich is quick to critique this narrow vision, as it ignores the totality of the space. There is more to be communicated through the use of the space itself than a pure information surface.  The example he uses is a medieval cathedral. A space that communicates ‘Christian narratives not only through the images covering its surfaces but also through its whole spatial structure’ (16). On the opposite end of the spectrum Lars Spuybroek emphasizes the tones of the interiors he uses. By eliminating traditional framing devices, he creates a space that fuses with the exhibition. This however, leads to a more intangible understanding of the space. Manovich describes the information surface Spubroek creates as ‘reduced to abstract color fields and sound’ (17).

Manovich then pivots to discuss clear, functional integration of architectural spaces with electronic displays. ‘Brandscaping’, a term coined by ’Otto Riewoldt, is the process of promoting a brand using a heavily designed space. Rem Koolhaas has applied this philosophy to the Prada store in New York. Using a variety of displays including electronic screens, and glass cages, Koolhaas has created a wholly immersive experience. Users explore a space tonally consistent and visually stimulating, their desire to purchase clothes evolves into the need to maintain a lifestyle. Riewoldt states he ‘has learnt two lessons from the entertainment industry. First: forget the goods, sell thrilling experience to the people. And secondly: beat the computer screen at its own game by staging real objects of desire – and by adding some spice to the space with maybe some audio-visual interactive gadgetry’ (19).

Manovich concludes the essay by restating the importance of seeing electronic media as more than a screen. He urges architects to go “beyond the ‘surface as electronic screen paradigm’” and consider the space of data flow as tangible and something to be studied (20).

Tue, November 15 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Akim

an interesting music collaborative work

Thanks for your summaries , looking forward hearing your presentations wanted to share this collaborative music project http://www.wimp.com/virtual-choir-performs-via-webcam/

Wed, November 9 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Amit

Mark Terry’s Responses to Maddison’s Questions for Today’s Class

Hi Everyone!
Since I can’t be with you in person today, I’m “mailing in” my responses to the reading by way of answering Maddison’s posted questions:

1. Murray seems to focus his analysis on visual arts. Can Murray’s thesis also be applied to other art forms such as music or even dance?

I believe they can. In particular, the infinite nature of the fold can be seen in the various ways music gets appropriated into other music (sampling), film (soundtracks) even social places (supermarkets, elevators). The same can be said for dance, but not so much for a particular performance which is often a singular experience for both performer and audience, but more in the sense of a style of dance (break-dancing, the jitterbug, the Charleston, etc.). These seem to transcend both time and artistic media as we see them re-surface in various arts, media and even social places (discos, clubs).

2. Can linear narratives also evoke the “fold”? Does traditional or mainstream cinema also have the ability to challenge spectators understanding of time?

I’m not sure about certain linear narratives. I’m sure there are examples, but none that spring to mind. But certain technical approaches to mainstream cinema and storytelling devices can be. I’m thinking of camera moves, editing techniques and storytelling practices that define and challenge the viewers’ understanding of time: the quick, blurred pan, the wavy transition and the calendar pages that fly off month by month, respectively. While these techniques define our understanding of time within the story, they also serve to be timeless methods of defining time for the viewers, especially in mainstream cinema, and to a less extent, television.

3. Referring back to one of Murray’s key questions, do you think the Baroque function is a marker of the death of cinema in the twenty-first century?

Not at all, to me, it seems like the Baroque function is simply another – currently popular – way of expressing cinematic story-telling. The fact that it transcends all form of cinema (art film, documentary, etc.) is testament to its popularity not only among artists and filmmakers, but also to the audiences for whom these films are

4. Do we have to know that we’re interacting with contemporary art in order for the fold to be enacted?

I don’t believe so. the fold exists – when it does – whether or not the audience is aware of it. Being aware of it makes the experience more interesting in the end, I think.

Wed, November 9 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Mark

Reporting from Marrakech – Mark Terry at COP22

Hello Future Cinema Class!
My class project is being presented here at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, more commonly known as COP22. I’ve conducted an interview with Adriana Jiminez who is in charge of education, training and public awareness for the COP conferences. She has collaborated with me in the design features of my project, an interactive GIS map of world showcasing more than 250 video reports of new climate research worldwide. Here’s our interview: Mark Terry Interviews Adriana Jiminez at COP22 in Marrakech
Tomorrow, just before our class, at 5:00 pm our time, I will be holding a press conference for more than 300 journalists introducing this new data delivery system. I will be giving a demonstration of how it works – PLEASE technology, don’t fail me now! See you next Wednesday!

Tue, November 8 2016 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Mark