Sundance VR: 5 Noteworthy Projects at New Frontier

19 Jan, 2017

From live-action VR, immersive experiences, technology and art installations, this season’s New Frontier at Sundance 2017 brings us 5 noteworthy projects not to be missed.

If Not Love
Artists/Directed by Rose Troche

Forcing the viewer-participant to engage and ponder difficult subject matter like a mass shooting at a nightclub as a result of a man’s feelings of shame, Rose Troche’s IF NOT LOVE pushes the viewer to ponder questions like—after the intimate encounter with another man, “what if events unfolded differently? What if the man he hooked up with convinced him to stay—to face himself? Could that simple act have changed the course of history?”

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | IF NOT LOVE

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | IF NOT LOVE
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism
Artists/Directed by Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov

Enter Brook’s Salon, a beauty salon of the future, and peruse a line of speculative low- to high-tech beauty products. transcranial extensions designed to make the brain’s synapses more excitable and primed to increase neuroplasticity. Participate in a live study on your way out to help Hyphen Labs better explore the neurocognitive impact of your visit.

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism

Image by Hyphen Labs

Through You
Artists/Directed by Saschka Unseld, Lily Baldwin

This athletically vibrant and sensual experience explores love across a lifetime. Using dance to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned, and seemingly gone forever, Through You is a live-action VR richly infused with an atmosphere of passion. Dancers Joanna Kotze and Marni Thomas Wood, along with actor Amari Cheatom, take us through the coursing periods of time, from the 1970s to 2046 and beyond, where the question is harbored, “Can love be found again?”

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | THROUGH YOU

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | THROUGH YOU
Photo by Cameron Berton

The Sky Is a Gap
Artists/Directed by Rachel Rossin

This VR art installation enables you to precisely move time with space through the use of a custom made, positionally tracked headset. Manifesting in both the physical and virtual realms, Rossin’s installation depicts a pyroclastic explosion inspired by Zabriskie Point, where the progress of the explosive scene is physically mapped to the participant’s forward and backward movement.

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | THE SKY IS GAP

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | THE SKY IS GAP
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

[Top featured image: A still from The Sky Is a Gap by Rachel Rossin, an official selection of the New Frontier VR Experiences at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.]

Zero Days

Artists/Directed by Yasmin Elayat

This chilling documentary tells the story of the cyber weapon Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware hatched during a clandestine mission by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage an underground Iranian nuclear facility. Told from the perspective of Stuxnet and a key NSA informant, the story places audiences inside the invisible world of computer viruses and allows them to experience the high stakes of cyber warfare.

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | ZERO DAYS VR

Sundance 2017 | New Frontier | ZERO DAYS VR
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

About the author

Cindy Maram

Cindy Maram is Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Dig In Magazine. She is an accredited film journalist for Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and CAAMFest, as well as fashion & style photographer/blogger for London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, professional sports photographer/writer and art critic. She is a writer, vlogger & social media community manager possessing a B.A from UC Davis and a M.A. in Mass Communications + Popular Culture Studies emphasis in Film/Marketing/Writing from Cal State Fullerton.

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