LOS ANGELES, CA – (May 17, 2017) – As artists from a myriad of creative fields embrace new VR technology to express their work, The VR Society announces the first annual The Art of VR. The two-day festival, which will be open to the public, will be held at Sotheby’s New York on June 22-23. The event will showcase the many ways augmented reality and virtual reality are currently being utilized in fine art, museums, dance, theater, film, advertising, design, travel, real estate, and medical applications. There will be appointment viewing on selected VR experiences throughout the event.
Premieres at The Art of VR include the first of its kind family animated adventure VR pilot episode, “Raising a Ruckus,” produced by VRC and Robert Stromberg and brought to life by a team of award-winning Hollywood veterans. It will also premiere to the public the sneak peek of the VR film “Le Musk” by two-time Oscar and Grammy winner, and global best-selling musical artist A.R. Rahman. Co-produced and powered by Intel in conjunction with Positron, this fully immersive VR Cinema experience is the world’s first multi-sensory (sound, haptic, motion encoded and olfactory) VR cinema experience. “Sun Ladies,” the story of the all female militia fighting ISIS produced by producer-activist-actress Maria Bello and Kate Brooks and lensed by Celine Tricart will also premiere at the festival.
Sotheby’s and LOOT Interactive will curate a separate “Space VR Gallery” unveiling a space themed exhibit including the world premiere of “The Apollo 11 VR Museum” and, “Home – A VR Spacewalk” by the BBC and Rewind, “The Martian” by Ridley Scott Robert Stromberg, Fox and VRC, and “Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways To Mars” by 8i and LIFE VR. The special viewing area coincides with an exhibition of highlights from Sotheby’s upcoming Space Exploration auction during The Art of VR. As an adjunct to the Space Gallery, AMD will be presenting an ALIEN: COVENANT: In Utero VR gallery produced by Ridley Scott’s RSA Films, 20th Century Fox and MPC.
Also in conjunction with The Art of VR festival, Sotheby’s will host digital artist Gabe Barcia-Colombo as an artist in residence. Barcia-Colombo will curate a series of panels on the topic of “new realities” and the use of VR by museums as well as present a special exhibition, entitled “Bunker,” of emerging artists who use interactive technology as an artful lens to express desire, vulnerability and memory through digital portraiture. In addition, Isaac Cohen (Cabbibo), Unity’s VR Artist in Residence, will be creating a one-of-a-kind interactive virtual reality experience that merges how we experience art with how technology powers creativity. As the development platform of choice for the majority of VR/AR developers, Unity Technologies is using its powerful graphics engine and full-featured editor to empower the next generation of interactive storytellers.
The festival will feature live VR art performances/exhibitions by MacInnes Scott, Marina Berlin, BlueVishnu, Zenka, Kevin Mack, Jane Lafarge Hamill, Unity, The Magik Gallery, and VRART.
There will also be separate VR exhibition and experiential galleries’ by HTC Vive, Oculus, Sony, HP, Dell, Time Inc.’s LIFE VR, and many others. Additional participants include: globally recognized museums, major Hollywood studios, Fortune 500 media companies, and leaders in VR production including VRC, RSA, 30 Ninjas and Koncept VR.
The festival will feature two full days of panels with some of the industry’s luminaries, featuring directors Doug Liman and Maria Bello. Additional panels will examine the impact of VR on Hollywood, museums, Broadway, and the performing arts, as well as education, architecture, travel and healthcare.
“We are thrilled to join Sotheby’s in hosting The Art of VR. They’re the world’s leading art authority and the ideal partner to help us usher in this new art form,” said VR Society President, Jim Chabin. “The public is hungry to explore all the ways we can experience and work in virtual reality. The Art of VR is our chance to share the potential of this exciting new medium.”
Additional VR and AR experiences will feature The VR Society’s 2017 Lumiere Awards nominees and winners including: “Dear Angelica” from Oclulus Story Studio, “Joshua Bell VR Experience” from Sony PlayStation, “The Blu” from Wevr, “Gnomes and Goblins” from Jon Favreau, Wevr, and Reality One; “Take Flight” from The New York Times, also featured in full motion, cinematic VR on Voyager, “Invisible” from Doug Liman and 30 Ninjas, Conde Nast, Jaunt, and Samsung; “Star Wars: Trial On Tatooine” from ILM, “The Starry Night” from Shanghai Media Group, “Capturing Everest” augmented reality activation from Sports Illustrated and LIFE VR; “The Great Barrier Reef” from Sir David Attenborough Google Earth VR from Google; “Rhinos on the Move” from Discovery VR, “Wide Awake” President Trump VR Experience and “Grace” from MacInnes Scott, “Pearl” from Google Spotlight Story, “Kygo – Carry Me” and “Penatonix – Up On The Housetop” from Sony Music, “Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals” from Oculus, and “Giselle VR” from English National Ballet, Sky and Factory 42.
Two participants of the program will be the up-and-coming VR directors Elijah Allan-Blitz and David Karlak. Allan-Blitz is one of the first VR directors to work with LIFE VR; his debut was “Defying the Nazis VR,” a companion piece to Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.” He is currently working on a VR project that explores the injustice of the U.S. prison system. Karlak recently directed “ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero,” a 360-degree virtual reality experience. Karlak is in progress developing a second VR experience to complement the highly anticipated new chapter in the groundbreaking Alien franchise, “ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero.” Both Allan-Blitz and Karlak will have experiences at the festival and participate in the event’s Director Series panels.
LOOT Interactive and Suzanne Lloyd unveil a preview of the “Harold Lloyd Museum Experience” in VR featuring a collection of the Hollywood Legend’s 3D photography set in an explorable multi-floor modern museum.
Additional exhibitions at the festival will emphasize current and future real-world VR/AR applications being used in such industries as art, design, architecture, real estate, travel and healthcare featuring: Tilt Brush, Microdose, Ghost Paint, Mindshow, Quill, and Gravity Sketch.
“Part of our mission for LIFE VR has been to show our audiences what is most interesting and cutting edge in VR storytelling—both with the content we create and by shining a light on innovative and unique work in the industry,” said Mia Tramz, Managing Editor of LIFE VR. “We’re excited to help bring the Art of VR to New Yorkers and Sotheby’s visitors alike, to help showcase some of the most innovative artistry happening in all corners of VR.”
“As leaders in the VR eco-system, we understand virtual reality to be an art medium in its own right, one which innovators and creatives are embracing,” said AMD’s Corporate Vice President of Alliances, Roy Taylor. “Those of us on the technical side of VR provide the structure but it is the artists who give it life.”
“New York City has always been at the forefront of the creative sector so we are delighted The VR Society has chosen to host The Art of VR in our city,” said Julie Menin, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “As this event will showcase, virtual and augmented reality now intersect with so many industries that are based here – from fine art to real estate and from media to entertainment. Events like The Art of VR enable New Yorkers to experience these applications first-hand – something they’ll be able to do even more frequently when we open the nation’s first publicly funded VR/AR lab later this year.”
For tickets and additional information about The Art of VR please go to TheArtofVRNY.com. Tickets for the two-day event start at $50. Student and senior discount tickets available with proof of identification.
Sponsorship for The Art of VR includes the following: Presenting sponsors AMD, Time Inc., LIFE VR, and Sotheby’s. Dell is a co-presenting sponsor. Gold level: Barco, HP, Intel, LOOT Interactive, Sony, Sony Music, Unity, and VCI. Silver level: 30 Ninjas, Cause Play/360 Ad Spots, Ketchum, Koncept VR, RSA, Storytech and VRC. Bronze level: Bluvishnu, Jane LaFarge Hamill, Isaac Cohen, MacInnes Scott, Magik, Marina Berlin, VRART and Zenka.EndFragment
Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby’s presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby’s Global Fine Art Division, and two retail businesses, Sotheby’s Diamonds and Sotheby’s Wine. Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).
About The Advanced Imaging Society and The VR Society
The Advanced Imaging Society and The VR Society were founded as a non-profit organization by major Hollywood studios and top technology companies to advance the arts and technologies of 3D, HDR, VR, AR and 360-degree content for professionals active in entertainment, media and marketing. Members include 20th Century Fox, AMD, Barco, Cause Play/360 Ad Spots, Create Advertising Group, Dell, Discovery Communications, Dolby Laboratories, DreamWorks Animation, Factory 42, Fathom Events, Fraunhofer, Global 3D Media Holding, HP, HTC Vive, Intel, Ketchum, Koncept VR, Legend, LIFE VR, LOOT Interactive, Lucid Dreams Productions, MGM, Marvel Studios, Nokia Technologies, Oculus, Pixar Animation Studios, Royole Corp., Sony Entertainment, Sony Music, Starbreeze Studios, Stereo D, StoryTech, StreamTV Networks, Technicolor, Unity Technologies, Universal Studios, V-Nova, Verve, Virtual Reality Company, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., and Xperi.
In addition, The Advanced Imaging Society and The VR Society have international chapters in the U.K., Belgium, China (Beijing and Hong Kong), Japan, New Zealand, and Canada.
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About Positron and Voyager
Founded in 2014, Positron is a technology studio based in Los Angeles that delivers engineering magic. The team includes mechatronics engineers, designers, software developers and artists who collaborate together to create VR experiences and products that have never been done before. Voyager is the first full-motion chair platform designed for cinematic VR. Integrating beautiful design and high-end engineering, it reflects a passion for VR storytelling. Voyager delivers a completely new level of immersion in VR by providing a comfortable, fully integrated personal VR theater that incorporates gentle motorized yaw and pitch motion, haptic feedback (physical audio powered by Subpac), and specialized seating. Its unique software and hardware technology integration enables nuanced motion and haptic tracks to be encoded along the featured content’s visual and spatial audio tracks. The chair precisely guides the viewers’ attention to points of interest in the experience, while also allowing a viewer-controlled motion mode. Voyager units are available now for select theaters, hotels, concerts, and events that desire to provide a premium VR experience. For Voyager images please visit Positron Media.