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Wbi NewsBlast!
Traversing Reality: Storytelling in Brave New Worlds

Traversing Reality at FMX

May 05, Stuttgart 2015. The Traversing Reality track brought together creatives and professionals from around the industry to dive into some of the underlying questions that remain unanswered as we plunge forward into our exploration of virtual reality.  We often find ourselves enmeshed solving the daunting technical challenges of creating a new art form, but Traversing Reality asks, what is the Art in the new Form?  Some of the most interesting discussion wove around two interesting parallels:  the changing rules of telling a story, and the potential for non-dystopian VR.

First, the creation and experience of these new story worlds veers away from the known creative paths of both film and games.  Like games, virtual worlds are created collaboratively, and the audience exists in a meaningful way within the world.  Like film, the storyteller thrives, weaving and controlling the narrative to deliver meaningful, extraordinary story moments.  Our diverse collective disagreed mightily and meaningfully on the *best* mix of collaboration and control between performers, and between performance and audience; which leaves us many interesting explorations ahead in the messy world of Virtual Reality.

Second, and I think most compellingly, Traversing Reality dove in with vigor to the non-dystopian future of VR.  We explored the ways that VR can bring audiences together, physically, to share meaningful social moments.  How VR can *activate* an audience in very physical ways.  And how VR can change how we learn and understand the world. 

Contributed by Co-curator Tawny Schlieski

Exploring Rilao at FMX

Exploring Rilao at FMX

May 08, Stuttgart 2015. We embarked as explorers of Rilao, to discover, study the land, dive in the mysteries of the South Pacific island and unravel its secrets and stories. Our objective was to kickstart the development of the Rilao Universalis Encyclopedia., a compilation of the knowledge gathered during the multiple explorations of the already richly detailed and fully formed fictional world space of Rilao, that has become a container for multiple interwoven narratives.

During an intense one day session, the polifacetic group compiled the knowledge and experiences gained during their exploration, as entries for the Rilao Universalis Encyclopedia. The groups had to choose and describe one environment, one social or cultural structure and one artifact, from those that emerged from their process and magnetize in the entries a volume of the knowledge gained. The Encyclopedia entries embed the process and become triggers for further exploration.

The multiple perspectives brought by the participants, among which there were filmmakers, scientists, engineers, architects and designers, produced a radical collaboration and a very rich Worldbuilding process, allowing unique stories to emerge from the volumetric comprehension that derived from the teamĀ“s multidisciplinary nature. The poliformity favored the non-linear dynamic and helped avoiding pre-established media practices or prefabricated narrative structures, usually present with uniform group.

Exploring Rilao Session

With the objective of achieving a interconnected single narrative during the worldbuilding session, cross-pollination between the different working cells was part of the process. This exchange of complex developed concepts, created a perspective revision, that enriched and refined the ongoing exploration with new perspectives and research, allowing us to understand that a rhythmic switch between focused intimate work in the 5 people Worldbuilding-cells and a open sharing, during the day, propels ideas flow and triggers new levels and possibilities.

The day culminated in an evaluation of the workshop after the groups Rilao entries presentations. During this session participants shared their experiences and insights, discussing collaboration, ways to trigger exploration beyond the textual, the role of the writer in a nonlinear process, the new roles that emerge from a holistic world building creation in the expanded narrative media landscape, that is challenging existing roles and craft.

Prototyping Narrative Worlds

Prototyping Narrative Worlds

May 5-6, Stuttgart 2015. The Prototyping Narrative Worlds: Design Visualization and Collaborative Creation for Synchro-Media demo room provided multiple opportunities for attendees to engage in mixed reality experiences. Exploring how design visualization influences creative processes and future reality, the room demonstrated the power of VR and AR tools in both real-world predictive settings and a fictional spaces.

Individuals explored the interactive communication tool built in collaboration with the Al Baydha Foundation. The build delivers a fully immersive, three-dimensional experience of the village ten years into the future. Based on real-time data and embedded with educational, precognitive narrative, the tool weaves together traditional culture and innovative technologies in an evocative projection of reality.

Digital Media World: 5D Global Studio & OptiTrack Visualise Al-Baydha World Building

The World Building Media Lab also exhibited Leviathan, a long-term collaborative project with Intel and USC Cinematic Arts, which seeks to develop a new language for storytelling that incorporates elements and techniques of interactive media, theatre, and film.

Paris Photo

Building Worlds at the Paris Photo Los Angeles Event

"What is film? And how do you place it as that? All that film is, is just a continuation of the window and the mirror. Its just a rectangle at this point. Right now, we're just stuck. Its obvious that we're stuck. We are stuck with this view into a rectangle..." claimed Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy.

In an open dialogue as part of the Paris Photo Los Angeles event, McCarthy and Wbi Founder Alex McDowell spoke about the radical need for artists to seize opportunities in new media. Creators can no longer follow the traditional paths and abide by industry parameters.

Curated by Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath, the Paris Photo Los Angeles Sound and Vision Conversation between McCarthy and McDowell can be viewed online.

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