Are immersive experiences the next step in the evolution of cinema? Since the advent of motion pictures, the medium has progressed though successive innovations. With each new technological development, cinema artists have created new techniques to enhance audience experience. Now, students at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) are developing original audio and visual material specifically tailored to envelop audiences in a 360-degree viewing environment. Working with Vortex Immersion Media, CalArts students are creating digital content for the company’s state-of-the-art dome theater, located at LA Center Studios, in downtown Los Angeles.
A presentation of new work developed by the CalArts Immersion Group, A Different Kind of Sky, will be held at the Vortex Immersion Media Dome on Friday, May 8 at 8 pm and Saturday, May 9 at 11pm. Admission is free. Click here for reservations.
Functioning as a think-tank, students in Hillary Kapan’s Advanced Interactive Media class are partnering with the Vortex team to develop new ways for domes to house their own unique art form. “Immersive media creates a different perceptual experience than humans have had before. It can enable experiences that cinema can’t,” said Kapan.
According to the current Consumer Electronics Association annual report Five Technology Trends to Watch, “within the next three years technology advancements will result in entertainment experiences so vivid and immersive that movies and games will completely engulf our senses.” Kapan’s students are preparing to enter this burgeoning field with leading-edge skills. “Through the collaboration with Vortex, our students are becoming content developers for the next generation of 360-degree immersive technology,” he noted.
The resulting work will blend immersion with interactive elements. Combining artistic process with technological R&D, students mix high and low tech techniques—ranging from game development systems that create real-time rendering in space, and live performance and music, to 2D and 3D projections, and low tech theatrical illusions. Vortex’s proprietary software and hardware also contribute to this new form of cinematic theater.
The collaboration with Vortex is consistent with CalArts’ experimental ethos. Since its inception, the Institute has been recognized as a center of creative innovation—launching future-directed endeavors that are now integral to the culture. CalArts’ current exploration of immersive media follows earlier breakthroughs in fields ranging from computer music and video to the resurgence of character-based animation, groundbreaking graphic design and new integrations of technology with live performance.
A Different Kind of Sky—original audiovisual experience specifically tailored to envelop audiences in a 360-degree viewing environment—created by the CalArts Immersion Group.
Friday, May 8, 2015 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 11:00 PM
Los Angeles Center Studios- Vortex Immersion Dome
1201 West 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
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