Frankly, “Virtual Reality” filmmaking and technology is fascinating, mystifying and a bit terrifying.
It’s so “Terminator” meets the worst Holodeck malfunction you can imagine and seen through the lens of a very strange Philip Dick dystopic disaster novel.
TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival has been offering up a whole week of VR film and filmmaking during the current 2016 festival. They call it TWIST360º and they’re billing it as maybe, ” the first-ever immersive media festival exploring the intersection of queer culture, art, cinema and technology“.
Body swapping. Dissolving binary paradigms.
Very timey wimey of them.
I really don’t have the vocabulary to explain all this and why should I rewrite paragraphs and paragraphs of useful info to make it my own? That’s such a dumb conceit…that “real” journalism means not acknowledging the very real fact that 85% of journalism IS rewriting a press release. And, why bother as long as you credit the appropriate source?
I make excuses.
Here’s everything you need to know about the VR revolution at TWIST this weekend.
To what may be the first-ever immersive media festival exploring the intersection of queer culture, art, cinema and technology: TWIST360º. TWIST360º will run October 13-23, concurrent with the TWIST queer film festival and feature a dazzling array of immersive experiences, from VR gallery exhibits, to live VR experiments, presentations by pioneering VR artists, 360º production classes, and more:
- COMING UP THIS WEEKEND, OCT 21-23: Swap bodies in The Machine To Be Another, a live VR body-swapping, art experiment from Barcelona.
Queer culture has always pushed traditional binaries toward a fluidity of gender, sexuality and spirit that can never quite be captured in a single frame. Could immersive 360º media be a platform that dissolves binary paradigms? And will it be queer makers working in the 360º space who realize that potential? These are the questions we’ll be asking as we immerse ourselves in the body-swapping, binary-smashing, expanded-media extravaganza of TWIST360º.
Live VR Experience: The machine to be another
Friday, October 21st – Sunday, October 23rd / Sign up to Learn, observe, & Participate!
They: Walk a Mile in their shoes
The Machine To Be Another is a live VR art experiment from Barcelona’s BeAnother Lab that virtually places you, immerses you, in the body of the “other”.
The MTBA team will be at TWIST360º for a three-day residency at the Erickson Theater (1524 Harvard Ave, between Pike & Pine) to explore gender in lofty and nuanced, outrageous and fun, and embodied and mind-bending ways.
Tickets are $10. One ticket can be used for multiple sessions on the same day. And if you are unable to afford a ticket, complimentary tickets are available each day at the box office.
LEARN // OBSERVE // PARTICIPATE
LEARN: Hear the BeAnother team talk about the Machine To Be Another, how the project originated and what they hope to achieve.
OBSERVE: We are inviting local artists, performers and dancers to develop with their own rule sets for the experiment and “perform” them live. Come watch how these artists explore gender in the Machine To Be Another.
PARTICIPATE: You, too, can participate in a body swap. There are public sessions – Body Swapping Open Calls – where you can sign up at to take part in 15 minute experiments. These opportunities are limited and are on a first come first served basis. Sign up when you arrive at Erickson Theater.
FRIDAY, October 21st
5pm LEARN: Machine To Be Another demo and presentation
6pm OBSERVE: BenDeLaCreme and friends lead the experiment
8pm PARTICIPATE: Body Swapping OPEN CALL (sign up at venue)
SATURDAY October 22nd
12pm Lion’s Main Art Collective – this is a closed group experiment
2pm PARTICIPATE: Body Swapping OPEN CALL (sign up at venue)
SUNDAY, October 23rd // Co-Presented with 9e2
11am BRUNCH & BODY SWAP: Watch 9e2 artists Coleman Pester of Tectonic Marrow Society and friends lead the experiment
12:30am OBSERVE: Panel discussion “Technology for Good,” about the innovative and creative uses of immersive technology for social good with BeAnother Lab collective members Marte Roel and JJ Devereaux Hood, and Seattle-based game designer Evie Powell.
2pm PARTICIPATE Body Swapping OPEN CALL (sign up at venue)
The TWIST360º Inquiry // THEY: WALK a MILE in THIER SHOES
Whether you’re cis, trans, or non-binary, the rigid and polarizing definitions of gender – male OR female – dramatically diminish the nuances of our lived experiences. Queer culture has always pushed beyond the binary to explore the boundaries of bridging, stretching, pulling apart the gender one presents to the world and his/her/their experience of gender. What would happen when you combine that desire to disrupt, expand and redefine traditional notions of gender with virtual reality?
The inquiry for the MBTA experiment at TWIST360º is, what does it mean to be gendered, and will the immersive experience of VR technology, the capacity to virtually embody “the other”, begin to dissolve the gender binary? Can it create a new found empathy for and understanding of difference? And how will this exploration expand to observations about sexuality, mobility, the size of our bodies, and the color of our skin?
The TWIST360º Experiment
We will ask participants, in the moment, to self-identify as either masculine or feminine. He/she/they will be paired with someone who self-identifies as the opposite, and together they will immerse themselves in “other.” We will provide some wardrobe options and other props to enhance the exploration.
Will this experiment that brings together researchers from Barcelona, technology from Oculus and local artists and participants help liberate us from gender binary constructs? We can’t promise outcomes but we can promise three days of awe, curiosity, humor, fun, discovery, and a reminder of our shared humanity. Please join us for the TWIST360º experiment of Machine To Be Another.
“What would the world be like if one could see through the eyes of another? Would it help us understand each other? And ourselves?” ~The Machine To Be Another