The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience for researchers, developers, and users of computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2016 (July 24-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center) will feature two emerging opportunities for designers and artists: immersive art and virtual reality.
Data Materialities Art Gallery
The Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature 10 highly interactive and immersive art installations that illustrate the theme “Data Materialities.”
According to SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery Chair Jonah Brucker-Cohen, “We have made a special effort to bring back large-scale, highly immersive displays for the Art Gallery. Our title ‘Data Materialities’ illustrates the fact that in 2016 we are all constantly surrounded by networks, information, and data. Whether these stimuli consist of electromagnetic frequencies or physical wired connections, networks are everywhere, consuming and permeating our offices, homes, schools, and public indoor and outdoor spaces.” The exhibition will expose the plethora of data and not only show its complexity, but allow us to relate to data on a human scale.
“By injecting humor and kinetic energy to this year’s exposition, the Art Gallery will make light of these data platforms and present them on a grand scale to reveal their ubiquity,” said Brucker-Cohen.
Here are few examples of the installations SIGGRAPH visitors can explore:
Chris Benneworth, Liam Birtles, Oliver Brown, Gaz Bushell, and Anthony Rowe of Squidsoup
This large, walk-through experience uses more than 8000 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space.
The Kinetic Storyteller
Tine Bech, independent artist
This installation investigates how art, technology, and playfulness can create new systems of communication. Two beautiful swings light up and display social media messages, encouraging participants to connect while they play.
Peiqui Su and Dequing Sun, New York University
This playful, interaction installation combines experimental blackout poetry with the “Plinko” game made famous on the TV show “The Price is Right.” Every player can be both a winner and poet. Using text from @nytimes and @FoxNews tweets, players can absurdly recontextualize news headlines.
For more information about the Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH 2016, visit s2016.siggraph.org/content/art-gallery.
The Summer of VR
To celebrate “The Summer of VR,” SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature an unprecedented number of experiential and cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) installations.
In the VR Village, attendees can explore the potential for new VR and AR formats for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in fields such as health, education, entertainment, design, and gaming. The 2016 VR Village will feature real-time immersion in tomorrow’s virtual and augmented realities, including short-form immersive filmmaking.
Presenters will represent major studios, independent filmmakers, game developers, universities, and non-profit organizations such as research labs and planetariums.
“When attendees at SIGGRAPH 2015 were surveyed, many of them stated they would definitely like to see more VR and AR experiences in 2016,” explains SIGGRAPH 2016 VR Village Chair Denise Quensel. “We have assembled a diverse array of VR/AR content that will captivate attendee interest throughout the week.”
Some examples are listed below:
Parallel Eyes: Exploring Human Capability and Behaviors with Paralelled First-Person View Sharing
by Sony Computer Science Laboratories, University of Tokyo, and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media
This multiplayer VR attraction will allow viewers to play a game of “Tag.” During the game, each player will be able to “see” each other as if they had eyes in the back of their heads inside their VR headsets. Each player will be untethered (Nomadic VR) and will be able to hide from other players.
MechVR: Interactive VR Motion Simulation of a “Mech” Biped Robot
MechVR allows participants wearing VR headsets to go inside a physical motion simulator. Each player can embody a giant biped robot machine that will walk, run, and fly and use a hand controller to hit practice targets. The physical movements of the players will match the visuals presented on their VR screens. MechVR was originally developed for flight and training simulators, but could be used to develop new attractions for theme parks.
Synthesis Suit: The Full-Body Immersive Experience
Keio University, Rhizomatika Co. Ltd., and Enhance Games
Participants will wear a full-body, haptic VR suit that includes 18 power micro-sensors synced to a choice of VR environments. Users will be able to feel the beat and pulse of music within the synced environment. The creators will also showcase a custom game interface that takes full advantage of the suit’s potenial.
VR Village Storylab
This new initiative blends narrative, 360-degree VR content into a physical lab environment. It will display a diverse assortment of VR content related to art, entertainment, academics, science, and experience design.
Other features of the VR Village include showings of VR films by Google Spotlight Stories team, Carnegie Mellon University, and Baobab Studios and presentations about: the art and science of immersion, production for VR storytelling, and how VR experiences can be agents of change.
For a closer look at the VR Village, visit: s2016.SIGGRAPH.org/VR-Village
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