The fast and vast technology growth also has an impact in the art industry. This impact has branched out in many ways possible, which you can also see in art festivals like the Sundance Film Fest. Sundance 2018 is on its most revolutionary phase when the festival chose to build its new frontier around technology. For this year, the Sundance Institute showcases a curated collection of independent experimental media works by artists and creators who are developing art using new mediums of VR, AR, mixed reality (MR) and AI.
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier offers works of art that you can never imagine. This year, some of the most innovative independent production and experimentation are seen in their greatest attempts to integrate art, film and technology for their creations. The festival worked on making it all happen that during the early 2017, programmers assembled an international slate of VR, MR, and AI from a mix of invitations and submissions for an open call for VR work.
With the growing demand and evolution, New Frontier programming covers three venues this year:
The New Frontier Exhibition at Kimball Art Center
The venue that hosts immersive dance, VR, MR as well as works and performances involving Artificial Intelligence (AI).
New Frontier at The Ray
Where the VR, MR, and AR to AI, as well as new media technologies are found. The home of the The Box at New Frontier at The Ray, a 40-seat mobile VR cinema, where four different mobile VR programs will be showcased over the course of the festival.
The VR Bar at Music Café
The venue that offers The New Frontier mobile VR program selection, as well as premieres the latest VR content made by some of the most thrilling tech companies in the field.
President and Founder of Sundance Institute, Robert Redford, said, “Technology-enabled storytelling continues to develop into a thriving industry. It’s essential to protect the creative spaces where creators can develop work and reach audiences independent of commercial pressures. The work that we showcase at New Frontier sets the agenda for the year in creative cross-media storytelling.”
Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator, New Frontier, Shari Frilot, said, “This year’s artists push the boundaries of a host of new technologies in powerful and surprising ways. The story creates the body and the corpus takes on new meaning, offering a new framework for personal interactions in modern society.”
Doug Aitken, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Milk, Nonny de la Peña, Pipilotti Rist and Jennifer Steinkamp are the New Frontier alumni. Sundance doesn’t limit their support to the curated slate of Festival projects, they also include the annual New Frontier Story Lab, especially created for mentorship and development of opportunities for new media storytellers.
The storytellers of New Frontier Day Labs and the New Frontier Residency Program binds the power of partners like Jaunt Studios to encourage innovative data-visualization and VR storytelling tools, training and resources among independent artists.
Films that are featured in all categories including he Shorts, Special Events and the latest Indie Episodic sections were announced together with the New Frontier program. You can see the list of films here sundance.org/festival.
2018 Sundance Film & Performance
Zikr: A Sufi Revival / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser, Key Collaborators: Selim Bensedrine, Igal Nassima, Jennifer Tiexiera, Wilson Brown)
Sufi rituals performed through interactive social VR experience to transport four participants into ecstasy with the use of song and dance. It also explores the motivations of followers of this mystical Islamic tradition, which is still being observed by millions around the world.
Elastic Time / Switzerland (Lead Artist: Mark Boulos, Key Collaborators: Robin Mange, Javier Bello Ruiz)
An interactive reality documentary about space and time, narrated by astronomer Tony Stark (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). A real-time hologram of the viewer’s body is integrated into the observatory room. Controllers are provided to have the ability to bend space, create black holes, wormholes and time portals.
DICKGIRL 3D(X) / United Kingdom (Lead Artist: Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Key Collaborator: James B Stringer)
As the non-binary version of EVA v3. 0, an avatar bought online and customized by the artist, with DICKGIRL 3D (X) the viewer becomes post-human who seeks for pleasure in an encounter with a submissive clay-like sculpture.
SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Eliza McNitt, Key Collaborators: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel, Jess Engel, Arnaud Colinart)
An interactive VR experience that lets you dive into a black hole where you can discover the songs of the cosmos. This experience reveals the gravitational waves, which transforms how we see the universe. In the darkness, you will find the light.
Wolves in the Walls (Chapter 1) / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Pete Billington, Jessica Shamash, Key Collaborators: Edward Saatchi, Saschka Unseld, Jennine Willett, Zach Morris)
An 8-year-old Lucy and her wild imagination will prove that everything is not what it seems. This immersive fable, based on the work by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, will let you discover what’s hiding inside the walls of Lucy’s house. The fable choreographed by an immersive-theater company, Third Rail. Cast: Elisa Davis, Elizabeth Carena, Cadence Goblirsch
Chorus / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Tyler Hurd, Key Collaborators: Chris Milk, Megan Ellison, Justice)
A social virtual reality experience about crystals, monsters, lasers and heroines. You can turn into a fantastical female warrior, where six more other can team up with you to battle evil in this epic journey, orchestrated to the song “Chorus” by Justice.
Sundance Mobile VR Lineup
Dinner Party / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler, Angel Manuel Soto, Key Collaborators: Rachel Skidmore, Bryn Mooser, Erik Donley)
The short virtual reality story of Betty and Barney Hill, who were the first nationally known UFO abduction case in America that happened in the 1960’s. Cast: Malcolm Barrett, Sarah Sokolovic.
Dispatch / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Edward Robles)
Imagine, a small-town police dispatcher under a great challenge when a crime-spree took place in his town. Cast: Martin Starr, Julianna Guill, Graham Shiels, Beth Grant, Samuel Stricklen, Kelly Jenrette.
Eyes in the Red Wind / South Korea (Lead Artists: Sngmoo Lee, Jongmin kim, Youngsam Jung, Key Collaborators: Jaehyun Park, Myuonggoo Ji, Youngsik Yu)
Friend and family performs a ritual to pacify the soul of a drowned man. Eventually, the possessed shaman reveals the truth behind the death, and everyone uncovers secrets and lust. Cast: Sungmi Kim, Jaehyun Kim, Jeongmi Lee, Nara Kim.
*See the full list of works and performances for 2018 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier on sundance.org
Enjoy this video that talks more about the festival: