inside the biennale: A vr Series
What does it mean to participate in the world’s most influential art exhibition? For both artists and curators, it’s a chance to bring boundary-pushing work to the eyes of the international art world, and make history as part of a 122-year-old tradition. Scenic is collaborating with Artsy and UBS on the nine-part VR documentary series "Inside the Biennale", watchable now on Artsy's site. If you've got a Google Cardboard VR viewer or Daydream View headset, you can watch a more immersive stereoscopic 3D version in the YouTube VR app.
In Episode 1: Toward Venice, artists and curators Massimiliano Gioni, Christian Marclay, Carol Bove, Cecilia Alemani, Francis Upritchard, and Erwin Wurm guide us toward Venice, shaping the story of the Biennale through intimate anecdotes, broader cultural insights, and first-hand impressions of the city—all in 360 degrees.
Stay tuned for more VR video pieces direct from Venice, where you'll experience engaging artworks, performances, and conversations animating curator Christine Macel’s exhibition “Viva Arte Viva,” the surrounding national pavilions, and villas, boats, and streets across the city.
this is what the future looked like
This Is What the Future Looked Like, a new VR documentary created by filmmakers Sam Green and Gary Hustwit, had its World Premiere at the True/False Documentary Film Festival in March 2017. It has since been an official selection at HotDocs and the San Francisco International Film Festival. The eight-minute piece is a rumination on the work of architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller, using his geodesic domes as the visual environment.
"I had made a traditional film about Buckminster Fuller and been frustrated by the fact that it was impossible to capture the experience of being in one of his geodesic domes with a traditional camera," said Green. "When VR cameras first came out, I thought 'ah ha! Finally!' It's actually a perfect medium for this subject matter.".
"We wanted to play with a few ideas here that haven’t really been explored in nonfiction VR," said Hustwit, "Like including ourselves as filmmakers in the work, and trying different ways to use archival materials in this medium. There’s such a push now in VR towards animated CG pieces, but meanwhile there hasn’t been enough experimentation with the formal possibilities of 360 video. That was part of our intention with this piece."
This Is What the Future Looked Like features an archival voiceover by Fuller, and an original score by Yo La Tengo with additional music by Todd Griffin. It will continue to play festivals the summer, stay tuned for online release details soon.
VR ART INSTALLATION for “naturalia”
In the new site-specific virtual reality artwork Palinopsia (What’s Up with Eagle and Serpent?) artist Michael Joo and Scenic's Gary Hustwit shifted time and immersed the viewer in a past encounter between two animals inside the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. Palinopsia is the term for a visual disturbance that causes images to persist even after their corresponding stimulus is gone.
Using 3D VR video and disruptions to the stereoscopic field, the piece challenges our perception of time, physical space, and our relationship to and expectations of what is "natural." Palinopsia (What’s Up with Eagle and Serpent?) was part of the group show "Naturalia", organized by Paul Kasmin Gallery and Sotheby's and by curated by Danny Moynihan. The exhibit was on view January 19th to March 4th, 2017.
scenic / wall street journal VR documentaries
Scenic has produced three VR documentaries In collaboration with The Wall Street Journal and Google for the launch of the Google Daydream headset. Witness the spectacular destruction and rebirth of a jet airliner in Marshall Curry's Funeral for a 747; go behind the scenes of a classic car auction in Millions Per Hour, produced by Gary Hustwit; or follow cyclist Denise Mueller as she attempts to become the fastest woman ever on a bicycle in Jessica Edwards' The Fastest Ride.
All three pieces are available to watch now on Google's new Daydream VR platform. Using Daydream's interactive capabilities, the pieces feature bonus branches that let you choose different paths and get deeper into the story.
If you've got a Daydream enabled phone (Google Pixel, etc.) and a Daydream View headset, download the free WSJ VR app here. Don't have Daydream? You can also watch The Fastest Ride on the web in 360 video at the WSJ site.