Slamdance, a film festival supporting emerging and independent talent, announced Wednesday the lineup for its Digital, Interactive and Gaming, or DIG, Showcase. The event, running Dec. 2-10, will feature eight works from budding artists using digital media including a virtual reality music sandbox, reality blurring installation-based video games and an interactive dance experience.
Only in its second year, DIG is Slamdance's way of embracing the future of media production and being on the cutting edge of filmmaking, much in the same vein as the Sundance Film Festival's New Frontiers section.
"DIG's purpose is to explore the landscape of storytelling and our program this year shows how a group of emerging artists are shaping its future," said Peter Baxter, president and cofounder of Slamdance, in a statement. "Our curation is coming from the core of what Slamdance is about: an open, DIY aesthetic involving alumni — artists themselves — who are committed to talent development on a local and international level."
The showcase, hosted by Big Pictures Los Angeles, is dedicated to spotlighting new artists working in hybrid, immersive and emerging forms of digital media art. All projects submitted and selected emphasize touch, personal visual perspective, innovative connections between space and movement or finding sense in uncertainty. It is free and open to the public and will also be featured at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which runs alongside the annual Sundance Film Festival from Jan. 20-26.
"DIG is one island in a sea of 'digital content,' an opportunity for artists to showcase expressive art in forms and technologies that are built to be impersonal by default," said Deron Williams, Slamdance's special projects manager. "This year's DIG Showcase underlines the essential role artists have as creative voices in a crowded mass media landscape."
Here are the eight works selected for this year's DIG:
"(THREE² x 3P2:VR)," by Float (Kate Parsons and Ben Vance), is an interactive virtual journey heightened by optical illusions and atmospheric audio where spherical hybrids act as portals as the viewer navigates a simulated aural space to an original score by Kid606.
"Bad News," by Expressive Intelligence Studio Design (James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Adam Summerville), is an installation-based game that combines procedural generation, deep simulation and live performance. In the summer of 1979, a resident in an American small town has died alone at home, and a mortician's assistant — the player — is tasked with tracking down and notifying the next of kin.
"Infinit-o," by Corazon Del Sol, is a conceptual portrait on the life and influence of three generations of female artists, Eugenia Butler, Eugenia P. Butler and Corazon Del Sol, with theme elements that oscillate between absurd dreaminess and narrative vehicles that explore the archetypes of womanhood.
"Manifold Garden," by William Chyr, is a first-person exploration game in which the player rediscovers gravity and explores an Escher-esque world of impossible architecture to solve physics-defying puzzles.
"Natural History," by Lilian Mehrel and Serena Parr, with original music by Eric Beam, takes a look at the natural world through 360-degree video.
"Soundstage," by Logan Olsen, is a virtual reality music sandbox built specifically for room-scale virtual reality.
"The Magic Dance Mirror," by Kyle Ruddick, is an interactive visual music and dance experience that creates stylized mirror images of those using it with dynamic animated visuals based on a user's movement, audio and social interactions.
"You Must Be 18 or Older to Enter," by Seemingly Pointless, re-creates the feeling of being a prepubescent kid looking at porn for the first time through interactive fiction elements combined with ASCII styled art.
For more information on Slamdance and DIG, check out the website.