New visual narratives - conference 1-3 July, Lodz + online
New visual narratives - conference 1-3 July, Lodz + online

New visual narratives—the slogan that guided the first edition of the conference, and around which we are focusing our contemporary thinking again today, refers to completely different associations and meanings than just a few years ago. The idea of how stories can be told using immersive media and the language of film and visual arts has been subjected to many tests and has had to be revised. Every artistic expression that goes beyond the existing means of expression and questions the limits of the medium is born in a constant process of trial and revision—a process that starts again and again. The laboratory we established in 2019 was a testing ground for dozens of artists and producers from around the world. It has also been the site of many discussions, discoveries, surprises and failures, without which no creative process would be complete. However, we were not working in a laboratory environment isolated from our surroundings. Reality is changing in front of our eyes and both the creative process itself and the themes taken up in the works by artists resonate with it. We want to capture these moments and discuss them with an international group of artists and theorists interested in the interface between film and digital media.   

The change that has taken place over the last few years concerns our relationship with technology, its increasing presence in the “real” world, and the almost invisible blending of interfaces into our experience of everyday life. Undoubtedly, the two years of the pandemic, which many of us survived thanks to an efficient digital infrastructure (remote work and study, online services), played a huge role in the process of our arrangement of relations with media. At the same time, there was a nagging fatigue with functioning online, being constantly connected to the web, and the mediation of experience through computer and smartphone screens. In this context, telling stories and building relationships with audiences through digital media is a major challenge today. The growing expectations for online content and a longing for the material world are a natural consequence of the specific moment we have witnessed, and we are aware that the artistic field not only can’t be indifferent to this, but should look also for such means of expression that will come to the aid of a wide range of cultural participants.   

Certainly, we will not avoid talking about technology itself, but we are far from a purely technical analysis of the latest achievements of engineers and programmers. At the center of our interests are always the story and the viewer—technology can either fill in and enhance this relationship appropriately or completely break it and make it an unbearable experience in itself, as well as impossible for mind and body to remember. It is the body that seems particularly important in the process of consuming and processing cultural content. To what extent are we as viewers today willing to get up from our comfortable armchairs and engage with the experience not only on the level of sensory perception, but also on the haptic dimension? Does this really significantly affect the quality of perception and an emotional identification with the subject of the experience? Affect, stimulus, movement and interaction are just some of the buzzwords that will accompany many of the performances and presentations.   

On stage will appear artists, producers, directors and curators, as well as researchers of culture. Each project carried out in the vnLab was thoroughly researched and we hope that the results of these analyses will be useful for other artists planning their own productions.  We believe that this process of testing and revising cannot take place in isolation from previous projects and solutions developed, even if it should be in opposition to them.   

During the three days of the conference, we will try to grasp the most important issues that are common to the language of immersive media, interactive narratives, film essay, and animation. The discussions will be accompanied by an exhibition of VR works and experiences using digital media, and a program of cinema screenings featuring film essays by directors and filmmakers from Poland and abroad. There will also be space for informal meetings on the Łódź Film School campus, which has been for decades, and still remains, a place of lively creative debate.   

Programme
Calendar
Info
Demo
Exhibition

New Visual Narratives 2022

Krzysztof Pijarski, Anna Szylar

Opening of the conference by the vnLab manager, Krzysztof Pijarski and Anna Szylar from Lodz Film School.

Immersion as Escapism, Control or Coexistence

Felix Stalder

Coming from film-making or other visual arts, we tend to think of immersion as a technical condition (VR, 360 projections, various forms of expanded cinema, etc.). But we can also think of immersion as an existential condition, as a way of being-in-the-world. Contemporary technology then gives us new ways of expressing this condition. But to what end? I propose that we can look at immersion as offering three different qualities of relationship: escape, control and co-existence.

Digital Narratives—In Search of Affective Ecologies

Lena Thiele, Krzysztof Pijarski, Ewa Drygalska, Katarzyna Boratyn

The multiple contemporary forms and incarnations of interactive digital narratives demonstrate that they are, at their core, fluid. As digital works, they can take different forms, exploring different possibilities of relating to an audience. However, while there is incredible creative freedom to explore forms and modes of storytelling, these narratives have always struggled to reach audiences. Digital narratives were already in crisis a few years ago when a Wikipedia article stated that these narratives “in their 40-year history have failed to deliver on their promises” (the quoted paragraph has since disappeared from the “Interactive Storytelling” entry). These promises included the empowerment of the audience—the viewer was supposed to abandon their passive stance and become a co-creator of the narrative, rising to a new level of engagement, although it is not clear what this term means or how to measure this engagement within the economy of attention and image distribution of contemporary digital space. Over the past three years in the Interactive Narratives Lab at the vnLab, we have attempted to confront current challenges in the field of cultural production while reflecting on them.

Today, the realization that the possibility of interacting with a work, of influencing its content, contradicts the immersiveness of the narrative, because it knocks us out of it, is an obvious factor with which the creators of such works consciously work—the mere possibility of interaction does not translate into audience engagement. In the pre-pandemic years, it became obvious that audiences were increasingly in the closed gardens of platforms such as Instagram or Messenger or WhatsApp, which prompted creators to formulate their narratives there. The aforementioned applications are also symptomatic of another process: as the market for mobile devices saturates (soon literally every citizen in Europe will have such a device), we are increasingly exploring the Internet using smartphones rather than laptops, never mind desktop computers. This means that digital narratives, if they are to continue to be created for flat screens, also have to be primarily accessible there.

Technology has proved to be another challenge: as many of the solutions for creating interactive narratives have become obsolete and/or outdated in recent years (with Flash at the forefront), many works are no longer available, again raising a debate about archiving and sharing them. On the other hand, open web technologies and new design tools have reached a level of maturity that allow for new freedom and dynamism in building interactive digital narratives.

While the Interactive Narratives Studio has grappled with these issues, it has nevertheless developed traditional, browser-based experiences. On the one hand, this decision stems from the learning-by-doing philosophy of the vnLab; we wanted to go down the road of creating “classic” interactive digital narratives ourselves, but on the other hand, we didn’t want to succumb to what we believe to be an inaccurate diagnosis of the end or obsolescence of i-docs as a cultural form.

What is interactive storytelling today, and what directions of further transformation can we predict based on this emergent evolution so far? These questions, among others, will become the focus of our deliberations.

Digital Publications—Reading Experience, Openness, Sustainability

Garry Hall, Krzysztof Pijarski

It can be said that universal access to knowledge and cultural content and their unhindered circulation is the founding myth of the Internet. To this day open source and open access movements fight for the realization of this promise—the former connected with the availability of code, the latter with knowledge. Around the year 2000, the emergence of the possibility of interacting with content published in digital space on a mass scale made us think of the internet primarily in terms of fluidity, interactivity, and collaboration, which was also reflected in the open access community, whose more radical factions began to experiment with liquid or living books, whose essence is co-authorship, changeability of content in time due to discussion, and a participatory approach. Wikipedia can be considered the paradigmatic embodiment of such a book, so it’s no surprise that the starting point for thinking about such publications were wiki engines. Today, we have several platforms for collaborative writing of digital books based on open dialogue—and in many ways we are returning to the historical origins of the book as a distribution channel for content, involving the binding between covers of elements that remain in the process of change.

 

The Interactive Narratives Studio at vnLab has in recent years explored the book not as a means of binding or framing content, but as a medium. It has focused on the book as a mode of presentation, asking itself not so much about the process of creating content and making it public, but more importantly about the reading experience, as well as the carbon footprint and sustainability of such publications. On the first point, the art book was our point of reference, since a book is also a well-designed experience in which interacting is not only a means but also an end. The most popular forms of publishing “bound” content today—pdfs and e-books of all sorts—fail to incorporate the audiovisual modes of thought formulation available today. (This goes not only for all forms of moving image, but also for the visual essay in its broadest sense, animation, sound, 3D models.) The former, at its root, is not digital because it mimics paper, always having a “format,” while the latter instead is completely “transparent,” and besides, it locks its audience into the distribution ecosystem of these books and does not allow for free annotation of content. On the technology side, in recent years the web environment has seen a return to the static page model, not only for the speed of access and greater security, but also for the much smaller carbon footprint and lower maintenance costs.

 

In response to these challenges and technologies, the concept of “publication-as-a-Website” was developed at vnLab (Publication-as-a-Website), allowing for the design of an optimal reading experience on any screen size and free of the aforementioned limitations. The goal of this module will be to discuss the current state of the digital publishing field, the challenges of open access, data sharing and archiving, and the potential of the solution being developed at vnLab in the outlined field.

Unrecognized Secrets of Stereoscopy

Joséphine Derobe, Justyna Rucińska, Piotr Matysiak, Miłosz Hermanowicz

Stereoscopy is not so much an underestimated medium as an unrecognized one. This thesis has guided us from the beginning of a four-year research project whose aim was to discover and explore the artistic and dramatic potential that lies in stereoscopy. The S3D vnLab is one of the few ongoing projects in the world that explores the possibilities of visual expression in the medium of stereoscopy for stop-motion animation. The possibility of placing the main emphasis on discovering the expressivity of three-dimensional images, experiencing new forms of spatial interpretation and creating new narrative structures in stereoscopic works—rather than just focusing on the correct registration of reality in the S3D technique—was the most valuable bond uniting the entire research team.

Working with a single camera and using the Animoko (motion control) stop-motion robot provides a unique opportunity to create shots with unprecedented precision, so that the creation of visual experiments is not limited by the shooting technique. The only limit is the imagination of the research team. During the four years of research, the team focused on three pillars of activity. Creating experiments, visual experiments in the medium of S3D.
Analysis of dramaturgy and principles of film character creation in stereoscopic storytelling (production of the film “In Side”)
Development and creation of visual materials for a multimedia textbook on stereoscopy with particular emphasis on the stop-motion technique.

During the conference the team of Piotr Matysiak and Justyna Rucińska will present the assumptions of the project, initial conclusions, and share their observations after nearly four years of work on set.

Film Essay: screenings

Stanisław Liguziński, Kuba Mikurda, Michał Matuszewski

Cinema screenings of film essays from Poland and abroad selected by Stanislaw Liguzinski in cooperation with Michal Matuszewski. Film essays will be screened at the legendary cinema located at the Łódź Film School.

The Film Essay as a Methodology of Reality Analysis

Ariel Avissar, Sanne Jehoul, Dana Linssen, Kuba Mikurda, Stanisław Liguziński, Michał Matuszewski

The film essay, understood not as a genre but as a methodology of working with film matter, assumes the use of audiovisual means in the research process. Viewed in this way, the essay is a search through practice, an experiment which reverses the logic of production, shifting the focus from the final effect to the process and its discoveries. The essay invites collective reflection, it is a challenge, but what makes the essayistic paradigm so valuable is the potential to go beyond the usual paths of thought and harness the medium to work towards the analysis and interpretation of our reality, which is increasingly manifested in audiovisual means. The film industry has been facing an image-creative crisis for a long time. Analyzing Hollywood spectacles, science fiction cinema, or disaster movies, one cannot help but notice how limited the pool of images has become through which we speculate about our future. It is impossible to decide who is the author of these words, Slavoj Žižek or Fredric Jameson, but the quote has made waves: it is easier for cinema today to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. With the initiative to create the Film Essay Workshop, we wanted to propose one possible solution to this problem. Since it is so difficult for us to “invent” new variants of the future, perhaps we can produce new images through the practice of juxtaposition, going beyond the orthodoxy of our thought.

During the discussion, we will address issues related to audiovisual essay practices, including, but not limited to, issues of production, distribution, funding, and education.

On 1.07.2022 at 17:30 we also invite you to a review of selected film essays created in vnLab and produced by filmmakers collaborating with the Film Essay Studio.

Virtual reality – In Search of a New Communication Paradigm Between the Creator and the Environment

Joanna Zylinska, Hartmut Koenitz, Pola Borkiewicz, Jacek Nagłowski

The starting point for working on the VR experience was in relation to traditional film, its production structure and its approach to the creator-consumer relationship. We worked with an awareness of the need for a paradigm shift in the language of the new medium. During the panel we will present our initial assumptions and the process of their transformation, as well as the way these are situated on a plane of broader social changes which we are all participants in.
We have invited Joanna Zylinska and Hartmut Koenitz to discuss cognitive strategies, artistic and research practices, issues of relationship and communication and the potential of interactive narratives to represent complex reality.  

 

Communication at the Intersection of Arts, Science, Technology and Society

Grzegorz Pochwatko, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Wiesław Kopeć, Pola Borkiewicz

Throughout the four years of vnLab’s operation, the VR/AR Lab has been conducting art and research projects and producing experimental pieces accompanied by critical scientific reflection. We have undertaken the production of over a dozen virtual reality experiments, collaborated in the production of external projects, and conducted research in parallel. The studio’s research program includes codification of the language of the new medium, production studies (including ethnography of the creative experiment process), and exploratory studies of the reception of the projects we have produced. Conclusions from these activities will be presented by the directors of the studio, Pola Borkiewicz and Jacek Nagłowski, and cooperating researchers, Grzegorz Pochwatko and Michał Pabis-Orzeszyn.

The operation of the studio coincided with rapid social, political, cultural and technological changes, each of these aspects influenced the processes and decisions made at the studio.

The starting point for working on the VR experience was within the field of traditional filmmaking, its production structure and its framing of the creator-consumer relationship. We worked with an awareness of a need for a paradigm shift within the new medium. During the module, we will present the initial assumptions, the process of transformation, and how these are situated within the larger changes which we are all participants in.

The focus of the studio was the relationship between creator and viewer in immersive media and the resulting problem of combining authorial narrative and interactivity, related to the narrative paradox. Over the course of the project, through collaboration with interdisciplinary teams, we developed various strategies to address these issues.

In the context of the emerging metaverse, another important issue is the relationship between the digital world and the material world. The studio’s exhibition experience related to the exposition of projects and the research conducted on audiences in this field provides suggestions as to the direction of development and needs.

Summing up the results of our activities so far, we pose new questions emerging from the experience of working on projects and the dynamically changing landscape of immersive media. The increasing participation of artificial intelligence in artistic activities makes us reflect on the relationship between the creator and the non-human subjects of these processes. During the presentation we will propose a new approach to the process of creative work in cocreation with non-human entities as a plan for further development of the VR/AR Studio.

Nonhuman creativity – cinema screening with a lecture as part of the VR module: Human v Machine Vision

premiere screening of A Gift of the World (Oedipus on the Jetty), 2022, 9' with participation of its author, Joanna Zylinska

 

 

euphoric late mix | after-party

Monster (Oramics) | Michał Szota

Technoculture and Transformations of Participation in Culture: Implications for marketing strategies and activities and cultural research

Adam Czarnecki, Małgorzata Steciak, Anna Zarychta, Magdalena Sobocińska, Dagna Kidoń

The conference module prepared by the Perception and Audience Research Laboratory focuses on the discussion about the application of new technologies in the sphere of art. These cause the processes of creation, distribution and promotion of culture, as well as the roles of creator and recipient of the work, to be subject to transformation.

The presentations will be divided into two parts and will be concluded by a discussion with the participation of invited guests.

Dr. Magdalena Sobocińska, PWSFTviT in Łódź: “The role and scope of applications of new information and communication technologies in the sphere of culture in the light of research results of cultural institutions and cultural participants.”

The acceleration of the pace of digital transformation means that technology is having an increasingly strong impact on society and art. This is reflected in the concept of technological determinism. During the presentation, selected results of qualitative and quantitative research conducted among artists and managers of cultural institutions, as well as participants of culture, will be presented. The aim of the presentation is to show how the surveyed groups perceive changes in art taking place under the influence of new media development, as well as what role new information and communication technologies play in the management of cultural institutions.

Dagna Kidoń MA, PWSFTviT in Łódź: “Biometric Research Methodology: Advantages and disadvantages of mobile and stationary eye-tracking”.

Biometrics allows us to expand philosophical reflections on art with considerations based on neuroscience discoveries. One of the modern technologies enabling the study of aesthetic experience is eye-tracking. Parameters of eye movements recorded in this way are interpreted as indicators of the mental processes of a recipient of a work. During the presentation, the benefits and difficulties that the researcher encounters when analyzing the perception of art using the aforementioned technology will be presented.

Participants in the discussion:

Dr. Adam Czarnecki, Vice-President of the Management Board of ARC Rynek i Opinia research agency

Małgorzata Steciak, Project Manager at CinematicVR

Dr. Anna Zarychta, Vice-Rector for Science and Artistic Creation, PWSFTviT in Łódź

What’s next. Presentation of forthcoming vnLab launches

Anna Szylar

Presentation of upcoming plans for the Visual Narrative Lab and a brief presentation of upcoming premieres in the VR Lab, Film Essay Lab, S3D Lab, and Interactive Narrative Lab.

Roundtable: interdisciplinary conference summary

Agnes Karolina Bakk, Ariel Avissar, Joanna Zylinska, Gary Hall, Felix Stalder, Hartmut Koenitz, Ryszard Kluszczyński, Piotr Krajewski, Grzegorz Pochwatko

Summary of three days of presentations and discussions in an interdisciplinary group of panelists from Poland and abroad.

1
July
10:00 - 10:30
Krzysztof Pijarski, Anna Szylar
New Visual Narratives 2022
Krzysztof Pijarski, Anna Szylar
10:30 - 11:30
Felix Stalder
Immersion as Escapism, Control or Coexistence
Felix Stalder
11:40 - 13:40
Lena Thiele, Krzysztof Pijarski, Ewa Drygalska, Katarzyna Boratyn
Digital Narratives—In Search of Affective Ecologies
Lena Thiele, Krzysztof Pijarski, Ewa Drygalska, Katarzyna Boratyn
15:00 - 16:15
Garry Hall, Krzysztof Pijarski
Digital Publications—Reading Experience, Openness, Sustainability
Garry Hall, Krzysztof Pijarski
16:30 - 17:30
Joséphine Derobe, Justyna Rucińska, Piotr Matysiak, Miłosz Hermanowicz
Unrecognized Secrets of Stereoscopy
Joséphine Derobe, Justyna Rucińska, Piotr Matysiak, Miłosz Hermanowicz
18:00 - 20:00
Stanisław Liguziński, Kuba Mikurda, Michał Matuszewski
Film Essay: screenings
Stanisław Liguziński, Kuba Mikurda, Michał Matuszewski
2
July
10:00 - 12:15
Ariel Avissar, Sanne Jehoul, Dana Linssen, Kuba Mikurda, Stanisław Liguziński, Michał Matuszewski
The Film Essay as a Methodology of Reality Analysis
Ariel Avissar, Sanne Jehoul, Dana Linssen, Kuba Mikurda, Stanisław Liguziński, Michał Matuszewski
13:40 - 15:10
Joanna Zylinska, Hartmut Koenitz, Pola Borkiewicz, Jacek Nagłowski
Virtual reality – In Search of a New Communication Paradigm Between the Creator and the Environment
Joanna Zylinska, Hartmut Koenitz, Pola Borkiewicz, Jacek Nagłowski
15:30 - 17:00
Grzegorz Pochwatko, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Wiesław Kopeć, Pola Borkiewicz
Communication at the Intersection of Arts, Science, Technology and Society
Grzegorz Pochwatko, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Wiesław Kopeć, Pola Borkiewicz
17:30 - 18:30
Joanna Zylinska
Nonhuman creativity – cinema screening with a lecture as part of the VR module: Human v Machine Vision
Joanna Zylinska
3
July
10:00 - 11:30
Adam Czarnecki, Małgorzata Steciak, Anna Zarychta, Magdalena Sobocińska, Dagna Kidoń
Technoculture and Transformations of Participation in Culture: Implications for marketing strategies and activities and cultural research
Adam Czarnecki, Małgorzata Steciak, Anna Zarychta, Magdalena Sobocińska, Dagna Kidoń
11:45 - 12:15
Anna Szylar
What’s next. Presentation of forthcoming vnLab launches
Anna Szylar
12:30 - 14:00
Agnes Karolina Bakk, Ariel Avissar, Joanna Zylinska, Gary Hall, Felix Stalder, Hartmut Koenitz, Ryszard Kluszczyński, Piotr Krajewski, Grzegorz Pochwatko
Roundtable: interdisciplinary conference summary
Agnes Karolina Bakk, Ariel Avissar, Joanna Zylinska, Gary Hall, Felix Stalder, Hartmut Koenitz, Ryszard Kluszczyński, Piotr Krajewski, Grzegorz Pochwatko

New visual narratives—the slogan that guided the first edition of the conference, and around which we are focusing our contemporary thinking again today, refers to completely different associations and meanings than just a few years ago. The idea of how stories can be told using immersive media and the language of film and visual arts has been subjected to many tests and has had to be revised. Every artistic expression that goes beyond the existing means of expression and questions the limits of the medium is born in a constant process of trial and revision—a process that starts again and again. The laboratory we established in 2019 was a testing ground for dozens of artists and producers from around the world. It has also been the site of many discussions, discoveries, surprises and failures, without which no creative process would be complete. However, we were not working in a laboratory environment isolated from our surroundings. Reality is changing in front of our eyes and both the creative process itself and the themes taken up in the works by artists resonate with it. We want to capture these moments and discuss them with an international group of artists and theorists interested in the interface between film and digital media.

The change that has taken place over the last few years concerns our relationship with technology, its increasing presence in the “real” world, and the almost invisible blending of interfaces into our experience of everyday life. Undoubtedly, the two years of the pandemic, which many of us survived thanks to an efficient digital infrastructure (remote work and study, online services), played a huge role in the process of our arrangement of relations with media. At the same time, there was a nagging fatigue with functioning online, being constantly connected to the web, and the mediation of experience through computer and smartphone screens. In this context, telling stories and building relationships with audiences through digital media is a major challenge today. The growing expectations for online content and a longing for the material world are a natural consequence of the specific moment we have witnessed, and we are aware that the artistic field not only can’t be indifferent to this, but should look also for such means of expression that will come to the aid of a wide range of cultural participants.

Certainly, we will not avoid talking about technology itself, but we are far from a purely technical analysis of the latest achievements of engineers and programmers. At the center of our interests are always the story and the viewer—technology can either fill in and enhance this relationship appropriately or completely break it and make it an unbearable experience in itself, as well as impossible for mind and body to remember. It is the body that seems particularly important in the process of consuming and processing cultural content. To what extent are we as viewers today willing to get up from our comfortable armchairs and engage with the experience not only on the level of sensory perception, but also on the haptic dimension? Does this really significantly affect the quality of perception and an emotional identification with the subject of the experience? Affect, stimulus, movement and interaction are just some of the buzzwords that will accompany many of the performances and presentations.

On stage will appear artists, producers, directors and curators, as well as researchers of culture. Each project carried out in the vnLab was thoroughly researched and we hope that the results of these analyses will be useful for other artists planning their own productions. We believe that this process of testing and revising cannot take place in isolation from previous projects and solutions developed, even if it should be in opposition to them.

During the three days of the conference, we will try to grasp the most important issues that are common to the language of immersive media, interactive narratives, film essay, and animation. The discussions will be accompanied by an exhibition of VR works and experiences using digital media, and a program of cinema screenings featuring film essays by directors and filmmakers from Poland and abroad. There will also be space for informal meetings on the Łódź Film School campus, which has been for decades, and still remains, a place of lively creative debate.

MAP (PDF)

 

You can find us here:

  

Do you want to know more?
Write to us:
press office dorota@mediocre.agency
organizators info@vnlab.org

Angelika Cebula, Kuba Ciosiński, Iga Filimowska talk about their project Overgrowth
Michał Stankiewicz talks about his project "Wish You Were Here" (2022), which is a classic documentary film that, thanks to the VR technology, allows you to look behind the scenes of the making of the film. It is both anti-documentary and breaks the rules of VR, depriving the viewer of the illusion of intimate contact with the protagonist.
The project can be seen in room 1.25
"School, World" is an interactive documentary about the Podlasie village of Chlebiotki, which once had 11 institutions, including a school, built as a community effort. Today, the school is gone, the only thing left of the institutions is the church, and there are not many people in the village. Iga grew up in the school; now she returns to Chlebiotki after many years. She will find the whole world. It is worth going there with her.
Norman Leto talks about his latest project, Pilot 9/11, from 2022, which will be screened at the New Visual Narratives conference in room 1.25
Titus Szabelski explains how he worked on his AMZN project, 2018-2021.
Project to be seen in Greenhouse 1
During the conference there will be a preview of Monika Masłoń's film "Control Negative". We invite you to listen to the story about the process of creating the project.
The place where the artist's work will be made available is the Film Studio / Z
Deep Dive is an intimate virtual reality story experience in which we accompany a young woman through the grieving process. We invite you to watch Miłosz Hermanowicz statement.
To be viewed live during the conference at the Film Studio / Z
Makeshift / Paweł Starzec / 2020
Makeshift is a project dedicated to rewriting the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on the mass atrocities of the Bosnian war, the spaces in which they were committed, and their erased context.
The project can be seen in Greenhouse 1
"Multiverse" is an interactive VR installation based on the concept of a multilayered world by Robert Mleczko and Radomir Majewski.
Work to be seen in room 1.25
New visual narratives
Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla / Anagram, Goliath: Playing with Reality, 2021
1-3 July 2022

Exhibition open:
Friday, 1 July, 10am - 8pm
Saturday, 2nd July, 10am-7pm
Sunday, 3 July, 10am-5pm

We invite you to a curatorial guided tour, which will take place on:
July 1st at 6 pm and July 2nd at 11 am

Artists: Sebastian Baurmann, Dirk Hoffmann, Lena Thiele / Maciej Czuchryta, Marta Wieczorek / Krzysztof Grudziński / Miłosz Hermanowicz / Norman Leto / Monika Masłoń / Robert Mleczko, Radomir Majewski / Gaëlle Mourre / Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla (Anagram) / Krzysztof Pijarski / Wojciech Puś / Michał Stankiewicz / Paweł Starzec / Tytus Szabelski / Paweł Szarzyński / Weronika Lewandowska, Sandra Frydrysiak / Hana Umeda / Adam Żądło, Jowita Guja

Curators: Krzysztof Pijarski, Agnieszka Sural, Anna Szylar

The exhibition accompanying the conference will present works that enter into a creative dialogue with the medium of film, virtual reality and document. These will include both pre-premiere presentations of experiences created in the vnLab and guest projects by Polish and foreign artists. We are interested in works that look at current contemporary issues such as mental health, ecology, gender equality - works that deal with a world that is in many ways overvalued and fragmented.
Mechanical Souls – Immersive Theatre Experience + VR movie
Frame from Mechanical Souls
immersive theatre experience + VR movie

Friday, 1st July 15:00, 17:00
Saturday, 2nd July 15:30

NO PLACES LEFT!

Mechanical Souls is a collaborative immersive live experience, powered by VR, analytic engine, live actors, and your own sleuthing skills.

In Mechanical Souls, the audience attends a wedding in Taïwan where beta-model android helps as bridesmaid, and AI (with machine learning and real-time story engine) guides you through your own personal journey.

It is one of the first VR productions where an AI-powered story engine was used to ensure every user a unique experience, tailored specifically to them.

In this virtual-reality spectacle, a sumptuous wedding is about to take place. Mrs. Song has found a good match for Zhen-Zhen, the heir of the rich Zang family. She spares no expense and hires wedding androids to help with the ceremony. But something has gone wrong. And it’s your job, as a new Mechlife employee, to figure it out.

‘Mechanical Souls is off-kilter. It’s self-aware and awkward in a good way, tongue-in-cheek, actually rather cheeky… a stab at revealing what we’re passing off as ‘human’ these days.’

It’s about perspective.
It’s about manipulation.
It’s about responsibility.

Exploring questions on ethics within surreal settings is a recurring theme that ties stories of Gaëlle Mourre together.

Reviews → HERE

CREDITS
Director: Gaëlle Mourre
Screenwriters: Gaëlle Mourre, L.P.Lee
Photography: Céline Tricart
Stereography: Thomas Villepoux
Music: Jasmin Kent Rodgman
Coproduced: Digital Rise and Serendipity, in association with DVgroup and Kaohsiung Film Archive
VR cast: Janet Hsieh, Patty Lee, George Young, Ann Lang, Sharon Landon
Live cast: Sonia Roszczuk, Paweł Smagała

Gaëlle Mourre is an Immersive Director and screenwriter based in London. Having lived in Asia, the US and Europe, Gaëlle brings her cultural experiences into the worlds that she creates in her films. Gaëlle won the special jury recognition film award at SWSX 22 for her latest immersive project and has been selected as a Berlinale Talent 2022. In 2021 she was given the “Most Promising Creator” award by Eurofest XR at Stereopsia 2021.

Previous projects have been in official selection at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Venice Production Bridge, Series Mania, LSFF and more.

„Mechanical Souls” premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2019. It won Best VR Stereography at the EMEA Lumière Awards 2019 and continues to tour internationally after initial runs in Europe, the US and Asia. In 2020-2021 Gaëlle Creative Directed the Mechanical Souls Graphic Novel adaptation in English, French and Mandarin.

Partner: Teatr Studio in Warsaw
Sebastian Baurmann, Dirk Hoffmann, Lena Thiele
Myriad. Where we connect, 2021
10 min.
place: SZKLARNIA (GLASSHOUSE) 1 / NN
“Myriad” is a project about animal migration in the Anthropocene. The 360° 3D film, based on real scientific data on migration, takes viewers on a poetic journey of the endangered species of northern bald ibis. It tells the story of a reintroduction program in Europe − the release of the ibis into the wild. One of the main problems associated with reintroduction is the migration of these animals. Since the flight route to the respective wintering grounds is not instinctive but learned from the older, more experienced birds, young birds raised by humans do not know it. Although they fly away from their habitats in August, they do not do so together or in the same direction. As part of a resettlement project at Vienna's Schönbrun Zoo, the young birds are cared for around the clock by human foster parents, with whom they build a bond and who prepare them for the long journey across the Alps.

Using an ultralight aircraft, the humans guide a flock of bald ibis across the Alps, encouraging them to adopt historical migration patterns. From take-off at Lake Constance, they fly across the northern Alps to Austria and South Tyrol. After 15 days and more than 800 km, the flock arrives at their wintering grounds in Tuscany. Viewers follow the birds as they learn about their rearing and the development of a loving relationship with their human foster parents. In real and animated images, the 360° 3D documentary shows the specific characteristics of the animals, their migration routes, the factors that influence their flight and the challenges they face along the way.
Paweł Starzec
Makeshift, 2020
place: SZKLARNIA (GLASSHOUSE) 1 / NN
“Makeshift” is a project dedicated to rewriting the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on the mass atrocities of the Bosnian war, the spaces where they were committed, and their erased context. In most cases, the places where civilians were detained, tortured, raped and murdered were restored after the war and given over to their former function, as, for example, public buildings. Paweł Starzec gives voice to a forgotten history outside the collectively established narrative, searching within it for universal values.

Collaboration: Krzysztof Pijarski, Michał Szota

Paweł Starzec − documentalist, photographer, sociologist. He is interested in correlations between space and its context, and in perceiving broader processes through their consequences and peripheries. A visual sociologist, dealing with contemporary iconography and visual narratives. Lecturer at the School of Form, SWPS University in Warsaw. Creator of workshop programs, co-founder of the artistic and educational collective Azimuth Press. Collaborator of the RATS Agency, member of the APP platform. Doctoral student at the Faculty of Applied Sociology of the University of Warsaw, student at the Institute of Creative Photography of Silesian University in Opava (MA). He is also a musician and sound artist, currently playing in the band Mazut, as well as solo as Industry Standard and Centralia. Enthusiast of DIY / zine culture.
Tytus Szabelski
AMZN, 2018-2021
place: SZKLARNIA (GLASSHOUSE) 1 / NN
"In December 2018, I was employed for a short while at Amazon's logistics center in Sady near Poznan to see from the inside how one of the world's largest companies operates on a micro scale. This is how I started working on the “AMZN” project, which is supposed to depict the entire functioning of the Internet giant: from the materiality of huge halls, through working conditions and the specific corporate culture and versatility of operations, to visions of the future created by the company's management.” How can we relate to them and can we take our future from the hands of the richest people in the world at all? How do we support those fighting for workers' rights and, more broadly, equality and social justice? Amazon is just an example, albeit an extremely powerful and resounding one, of what our entire reality may soon look like. Or what it already looks like: hidden behind the smooth interface of an online shop and the almost windowless wall of a warehouse. Dressed in exciting technological metaphors, concealing exploitation and inequalities of wealth, knowledge and influence.

“AMZN” is a multi-media, multi-threaded project whose core is a series of photographs of the company's warehouse halls (“This façade is a lie [situational view”). These are surrounded by a narrative of workers' struggles contained in collected union leaflets, stories of interpersonal solidarity in the age of growing automation (in the video “Factory Without Lights”), attempts to recreate oppressive work routines (the photo series “A Few Simple Tricks to Improve Your Efficiency at Work”), and finally a glimpse of the customer experience in the installation “Twine”. Most of these elements are tied together by a website specially designed by Rytm Digital studio and produced at the Visual Narratives Laboratory at the Łódź Film School. Amzn.vnlab.org is thus a kind of interactive magazine containing not only art works, but also articles or fragments of statements, while at the same time becoming a distinct entity.

Tytus Szabelski − photographer and visual artist. A graduate of journalism and social communication from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun and photography at the University of Arts in Poznan, where he completed doctoral studies in art. Member of the Torun Group on the Vistula. Finalist of national and international competitions for the best artistic diploma (including Best Diplomas of the Academy of Fine Arts 2016 in Gdansk and StartPoint Prize 2016 in Prague). His work is part of the collections of Arsenal City Gallery in Poznan and the Raffles Europejski Warsaw hotel. Winner of the Konrad Pustola Memorial Scholarship for a socially engaged photographer (2017), nominated for Culturist of the Year 2019 by the Radio House of Culture on Polish Radio's Third Program. Resident at the Warsaw Biennale (2020) and winner of the Visual and Sound Arts Residency Program of the Visegrad Fund (at Trafó Gallery in Budapest, 2021). As a curator he participated in the international program for young photographers and curators, Parallel − European Photo Based Platform (2019-2020), and co-creates the art festival New Heat in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie. He was editor of "Magenta," an online magazine about contemporary photography, and the scientific art magazine "Postmedium.” Currently professionally associated with the magazine "BLOK" and the Visual Narratives Laboratory at the Łódź Film School.
Paweł Szarzyński
Cosmogonik, 2021
place: SZKLARNIA (GLASSHOUSE) 1 / NN
“Cosmogonik” is the first VR experience inspired by the work of science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem. It is an adaptation of his 1965 short story Uranium Ears, which tells the story of a distant planet where the struggle between good and evil is simultaneously a clash of backwardness and scientific development, corrupt power and the need for freedom brought by rationalism. Pawel Szarzynski's experience takes us into the memories of the title character, a once brilliant robot engineer, inviting us to explore strange, forgotten worlds where science and technology can lead to alienation and annihilation, but also connect and liberate. Illustrations by Daniel Mroz.

Paweł Szarzyński − animator and graphic designer. Co-founder of the kilku.com art collective and Kinhouse production studio.
Krzysztof Pijarski
Sztos, 2015-2018
place: SZKLARNIA (GLASSHOUSE) 2 / NN
“Shtos” is a project revolving around Wit Stwosz, or rather Veit Stoss, as a found figure. Found in the sense that the life and work of the author of Cracow's St. Mary's Altarpiece constitute both the material and the “medium “for further artistic work, transforming his figure into a readymade. Primarily interested in the ways in which "Wit Stwosz" or "Veit Stoss" is used as a building block of strong (national) identities, but also as a model artist. On the one hand, the project reflects disputes about the identity or belonging of the medieval artist, in terms of place of birth, artistic influences and “character“ of style. On the other hand, there are afterimages of gestures of appropriation of Stwosz's figure by other artists, whether as a point of reference in the native tradition, as a model of the cursed artist or as a vehicle for resentful gestures. While Jan Matejko, an artist crucial to the process of shaping modern Polish identity and self-image in the 19th century, took up Wit Stwosz as a model to be imitated, Tadeusz Kantor takes up the traumatic experiences of the 20th century in a series of retaliatory gestures made in Nuremberg, culminating in the play Let the Artists Die. Stwosz remains a faceless artist, as he left no image behind − a situation which makes it difficult to use him as a model, but also makes him a screen on which the spectacle of giving and taking face plays out.

Krzysztof Pijarski − artist using the medium of photography, academic lecturer, art historian, coordinator of the Visual Narratives Laboratory at the Łódź Film School he, where he also co-leads the Interactive Forms Studio. A Fulbright scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (2009-2010), and recipient of stipends from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and Shpilman Institute of Photography; manager and executor of grants from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, National Science Centre and National Program for the Development of the Humanities. Author of the monograph “Archaeology of Modernism. Michael Fried and the Modern Art Experience” (2017) and “(Post)Modern Fate of Images. Allan Sekula / Thomas Struth” (2013). Editor of the volumes “Object Lessons”: Zofia Rydet's “Sociological Record“ (2017) and “Archive as Project” (2011). In 2010, an anthology of Allan Sekula's texts in his translation was published by the University of Warsaw Publishing House. Editor of the journal "View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture”.
Hana Umeda
Closed Space, 2022
work in progress
place: SZKLARNIA (GLASSHOUSE) 2 / NN
“Closed Space” is an attempt to confront the ambiguous position of contemporary traditional Japanese jiutamai dance. The Japanese dancer functions in the West as a visual object, deprived of subjectivity, closed in orientalising categories determined not only by the male gaze, but also by the White gaze. By creating the effect of intimate closeness and by giving the dancer/heroine a voice through which an intimate confession and the trauma of whole generations of women hidden in the dance can be expressed directly, Hana Umeda tries to regain agency and subjectivity both for herself and for the whole multigenerational community of jiutamai dancers. The silent confession that is jiutamai dance is both a means of coping with trauma and a gag placed over the mouth; a means of self-expression and repression by a patriarchal society.

Hana Umeda/Sada Hanasaki − performer, dancer, natori at Hanasaki-ryu jiutamai school. In 2020, she was the first non-Japanese citizen to be officially accepted into the Hanasaki-ryu jiutamai school, and was given the authority to nurture and further pass on the tradition of Japanese traditional dance. A student of Master Hanasaki Tokijyo, head of the Hanasaki-ryu school in Tokyo, she is a cultural scholar. In 2018 she made her debut as a director and choreographer with the performance “SadaYakko” presented at Komuna Warsaw. In her artistic work she is interested in both exploring and extending the tradition of jiutamai dance, as well as processing and deconstructing this tradition in search of new forms of expression. As a dancer, performer and co-choreographer she has worked with Marta Ziółek, Katarzyna Wolińska and Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska.

Dorota Sosnowska, PhD, assistant professor at the Department of Theatre and Performance of the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw; vice-president of the Propaganda Foundation which runs the Propaganda gallery in Warsaw (co-organiser of Warsaw Gallery Weekend). In her research she deals with the history and theory of theatre and performance, combining her interest in theatre and the visual arts. Author of the book “Królowe PRL. Scenic Images of Irena Eichlerówna, Elżbieta Barszczewska and Nina Andrycz as Models of Femininity” (WUW 2014). Editor of the journal “View. Theories and practices of visual culture”.
Wojciech Puś
Endless, 2022
pre-premiere screening
place: ROOM 1.15 / NN
Wojciech Puś has been making “Endless” − a sensual combination of image, light and sound that creates a poetic essay-dream about identities in process − since 2016. The work has taken diverse forms—from cinematic fiction to cinematic performances and open situations. Its basis is an informal community of performers from Chile, France, Mexico, Poland and Ukraine, with different social backgrounds, gender identities, nationalities and migration status. The tangle of their personal stories, together with fragments of literary works, films, diaries and dream records, creates a mosaic, which Puś situates in categories of queer abstraction. This aesthetic utopia entails a change in thinking about gender transformation, extending the experience of transformation to the most universal, existential experience of an individual.

In his works, Wojciech Puś combines the aesthetics of experimental film with elements of light installation and video projection, giving them a cinematographic character. His realisations are spatial installations in which he uses moving images, specific light solutions and soundtracks (often in the form of vinyl). His most recent productions include the series "Queer Landscapes" (premiered at the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin festival in the Louvre and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin), "Nonrecognition", "Kissing" − together with Pat Dudek and Jerzy Tabor (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture in Królikarnia), "Endless − Music for Performers" − a record of musical improvisations released by Bocian Records, and a series of cinematic performances: "Endless: Day as Days / Night as Nights" and "Wind Unites Us" at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, curated by Natalia Sielewicz and Paul B. Preciado. He is a professor at the Cinematography Department of the Łódź Film School.
Maciej Czuchryta, Marta Wieczorek
Simple Songs About Death, 2022
work in progress
place: ROOM 1.25 / NN
Situated between a simulator and a virtual sculpture, this VR experience aims to break social taboos concerning the dead body. The creators present the process of dying in its natural cycle, transferring it from a real tabooed space to a synthesized virtual environment. During a technological meditation, they invite viewers to reflect on mortality and passing.

Maciej Czuchryta and Marta Wieczorek − work as a duo involved in directing and designing virtual and theatrical scenery and level design. As artists, they are interested in issues related to the dematerialisation of stage design and the impact of new technologies on viewers' perception, juxtaposing the latest technological trends with traditional stage design.
Norman Leto
Pilot 9/11, 2022
work in progress
place: ROOM 1.25 / NN
“Pilot 9/11” presents the events of 11 September 2001 from the unique perspective of military aviators who followed the hijacked passenger planes to prevent the tragedy. The assessment from their point of view sheds new light on absolutely familiar images. The cramped cockpit of the plane contrasting with the boundless expanse of New York is a perfect environment for VR recreation. Although we are almost in the center of events, we remain locked in the cockpit, like powerless observers. How do you remain fully focused and decisive while seeing desperate pleas for rescue and watching − without being able to help − the horror of scenes taking place just a few hundred meters away? Yet what happened at the World Trade Center is not, despite appearances, the main focus. “Pilot 9/11” is a twenty-minute story about coming out of trauma − wider, national trauma, and the subjective, personal kind.

Norman Leto (born Łukasz Banach) − painter, director, new media artist. His first solo exhibition took place at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in 2007. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, he completed his autobiographical novel “Sailor” and a full-length film under the same title. In 2012 Leto began work on “Photon”, his second feature film, which premiered at the international documentary film festivals CPH:DOX, Copenhagen 2017 and HotDocs, Toronto 2017, and had its Polish premiere in the main competition at the 17th IFF T-Mobile New Horizons.
Robert Mleczko, Radomir Majewski
Multiverse, 2022
work in progress
15 min.
place: ROOM 1.25 / NN
“Multiverse” is an interactive VR installation based on the concept of a multi-layered world. The experience begins in the space of a post-Soviet housing estate, from where we wander through dark crystalline corridors, vast luminous gardens and rubble that levitates around us. The thematic layer refers to the phenomena of nostalgic remembrance of the past, the unfettered joy of childhood imagination and destruction, with ambivalent reflections on human nature prone to destruction. We are accompanied on our meditative journey by a mysterious object which, held physically in our hands, also has a virtual representation linking the two worlds. It not only tells us the stories of the spaces visited, but also supports the reflections, analyses and perceptual experiments of the immersive VR medium.

Robert Mleczko − a graduate of animated film from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (now UAP) and the Łódź Film School (PWSFTviT). Since 2001 he has been working as a cinematographer for feature and documentary films and films on the borderline with visual arts. In theatre he has worked as a lighting director, creator of video projections and set designer. He has collaborated in Poland with artists Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Hubert Czerepok, Karolina Breguła, Monika Strzępka, Mariusz Grzegorzek, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Michał Borczuch, and in New York with The Wooster Group. Feature films and documentaries with his photography have been presented at Polish and international festivals: 61st Berlinale, New Horizons, 16th Sofia International Film Festival and the 41st, 35th and 30th Polish Film Festivals in Gdynia. From 2014 he co-founded with Hubert Czerepok the Chair of Experimental Film at the Faculty of Painting and New Media of the Academy of Art in Szczecin, where he currently runs the Studio of Immersive Film and VR Experiences.

Radomir Majewski − student of the Academy of Art in Szczecin, majoring in experimental film. An interdisciplinary artist working mainly in new media.
Michał Stankiewicz
Wish You Were Here, 2022
work in progress
place: ROOM 1.25 / NN
VR promises to be “inside”, it seeks to create a sense of being “there”, to be able to enter someone's life and even to simulate being someone else. This is what is known as immersive storytelling. But how much can we really look through someone else's eyes, and above all, how much are we really prepared to see and feel? How much empathy and willingness to empathize do we have? In the experience we meet Aneta, who is 36 years old and has been diagnosed with breast cancer. From the window of her house she can see a walnut orchard which is slowly being turned into a new housing estate of apartments. “Wish You Were Here” is a classic documentary that, thanks to VR technology, allows you to look behind the scenes of the making of the film. It is both an anti-documentary and breaks the rules of VR, depriving the viewer of the illusion of intimate contact with the protagonist.

Michał Stankiewicz − works in the field of performing and visual arts. He is inspired by performance, post-conceptual art, cognitive science research, but also magic and folk art. In designing experiences, he looks for random events and places that cannot be directed. He has taken part in Polish and international festivals, including the Theatre Olympiad in India, AltoFest in Naples, Performance Arcade in New Zealand, CAOS in Turin, and the College Cinema VR Biennale in Venice. He likes to think of his work as preparing dinner for friends or stepping together into an icy river.
Adam Żądło, Jowita Guja
Cave, 2022
work in progress
place: ROOM 1.25 / NN
“The Cave” is an interactive adaptation of a classical Platonic metaphor, preserving the meaning of the original but setting it in a new context. The essence of the image of the cave is the disruption of the obvious—what is known and universally respected turns out to be false. Although Plato places the story of the cave in the context of his own ontology, the metaphor itself is universal. Breaking out of what is familiar and safe is equally precipitous no matter what cave is our prison. It can be the Matrix, Paradisia, the Truman Show, an ideological, religious or political system. The cave can also be the “inside“ of a VR headset, although this can be treated as a metaphor within another metaphor. The contemporary reading of the cave metaphor also generates doubts: what if the cave has no boundaries? If, like a matrioshka doll, it is placed inside another cave and that one in yet another, and so on without end? Or does such gnoseological wandering have the shape of a loop? The creators transfer the philosophical text into VR and present an experience which requires not only mental, but also physical effort, in order to emphasize the experiential nature of philosophy.

Adam Żądło − audiovisual artist, graduate of the Faculty of Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. Lecturer at the WH AGH in Cracow. Specializes in animation, computer games, photography and film. His work combines the experience of working on a farm with scientific knowledge and the latest technologies. He actively supported scientific circles involved in constructing a cyborg and space exploration. Winner, finalist and participant of dozens of international festivals, competitions and exhibitions, including Sony World Photography Awards, Smithsonian.com, Nikon Photo Contest, ADOBE ADAA, Sitges IFF.

Jowita Guja − philosopher and cultural studies scholar, PhD in Cultural and Religious Studies. Her research interests include virtual reality, philosophical anthropology and analysis of popular culture. Author of the books “Soteriology of Atheism as a New Anthropology”, and “The concept of faith in Karl Barth's Römerbrief”, as well as many articles on classical and contemporary philosophy, popular culture discourses and futuristic imagination. She works at the Department of Information Technology and Media at the Faculty of Humanities at AGH, where she teaches cognitive science, cultural theory, contemporary literature, and the design and use of VR and AR technologies. She has held scholarships and internships at Swansea University, Cambridge University, Leipzig Universität, Aalborg University and Carlos Universodad in Madrid. Co-founder of the EduVRLab Virtual Reality Research Laboratory at AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow. As of 2019, she serves as its manager.
Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla / Anagram
Goliath: Playing with Reality, 2021
25 min.
place: FILM STUDIO / Z
“Goliath: Playing with Reality” is an animated experience about schizophrenia and the power of the gaming community and winner of the Grand Prize for Best VR Work at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.

Echo − with narration by Tilda Swinton − takes the viewer through the different realities of Goliath, a man who spent years in isolation in mental institutions but found a bond in multiplayer games. Combining moving dialogue, mesmerizing visuals and symbolic interactions, traverse the world to discover Goliath's heartbreaking story.

Created by Anagram − a studio dedicated to interactive and immersive experiences. They created “The Collider” and “Door into the Dark”. Winners of the Storyscapes award at the Tribeca Film Festival 2015, the Sandbox Immersive Art award 2019, and part of the Best VR in 2019 at the Venice International Film Festival.
Krzysztof Grudzinski
The dead city, 2022
pre-premiere screening
45 min.
place: FILM STUDIO / Z
“The Dead City” is an interactive experience referring to Erich Wolfgang Korngold's opera about the fate of a Flemish city and its inhabitant living with a cult of memory. In Grudziński's version it is a city of the pandemic era, empty and lonely, but full of digital life. The poetic narration, based on Korngold's original libretto, is accompanied by singing, contemporary music and travestied elements of the original composition. The visual layer refers to graphic forms popular on the Internet − vaporwaves and gifs − and the aesthetics of independent video games.

Krzysztof Grudziński − director, screenwriter, producer of games, films and music videos (bAranovski, Agim, Natalia Nykiel), virtual production manager and narrator, professor at the Warsaw Film School. Winner of the Munk Studio program "30 Minutes”, producer of the feature film “Magdalena”. Creator and producer of video games: “Apocalipsis: Harry at the End of the World”, “Aida”, "This is the Zodiac Speaking”, “Barnfinders VR”, “Poopin”. Nominated and awarded at KTR, YACH, ARS iNDEPENDENT, Fryderyki, Cinemaforum, Pixel Heaven festivals. Finalist of the Papaya Young Directors competition.
Miłosz Hermanowicz
Deep Dive, 2020
17 min.
place: FILM STUDIO / Z
“Deep Dive” is an intimate virtual reality fiction experience in which we accompany a young woman in the grieving process. The protagonist faces the most painful loss of her life, wandering on a wild riverbank where fears and hopes mix with reality. The theme and the way the story is told create the experience of a psychological fairytale maintained in an atmosphere of magical realism.

Miłosz Hermanowicz − editor and director. He has worked for television and edited documentary cinema productions. He has made three short films − his “Red Lady” won the Grand Prix at the Courant 3D festival in Angoulême, France (2014) and was included on the Blu-ray release French 3D. In 2016 Hermanowicz made his first 360° film “After the Apocalypse” about the reconstruction of Warsaw after World War II. Since 2011, he specialized in stereoscopic and 360° image techniques and their narrative possibilities. Currently works with S3D and VR/AR studios at the Visual Narratives Laboratory at the Łódź Film School.
Weronika Lewandowska, Sandra Frydrysiak
Nightsss, 2021
7 min.
place: FILM STUDIO / Z
“Nightsss” is a virtual erotic poem in which the audience is invited to an interactive experience of poetry and dance. The starting point for this experimental animation was a slam poem by Weronika Lewandowska. In it, the artist uses sounds characteristic of the Polish language to create onomatopoeic landscapes that transcend language barriers. The artists were inspired to create the experience by a research project devoted to the perception of dance and movement in virtual reality, which they carried out at the SWPS University while writing their doctoral dissertations on art (Lewandowska on immersive experience in performative artistic practices, and Frydrysiak on dance as a cognitive practice in the context of new technologies and neuroscience). “Nightsss” is the first Polish realization of virtual reality presented at Sundance, the most important festival of independent cinema in the world.

Weronika Lewandowska − director, screenwriter and executive producer of the VR experience “Nightsss”. Spoken word poet, performer, doctor of humanities, researcher of new and digital ways of storytelling. Her poem “Nightsss” has been translated into 13 languages and presented at poetry slams in over 20 countries and on three continents. It could also be heard during the exhibition “The Liberated Voice − Sound Poetry” at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2019), which presented the most important phenomena and works of sound poetry in the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2020, as part of an artist residency in Prague, she worked on the artistic use of 360° technology for live performance. She leads workshops in creative writing, digital storytelling and performance.

Sandra Frydrysiak − director and author of the scenario of the VR experience “Nightsss”. Researcher of dance. Author of the book “Dance at the Nexus of Science and Technology. New Perspectives in Dance Research” (2017). Doctor of Humanities, cultural studies scholar and sociologist working academically in the areas of new media studies, dance studies and gender studies. Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies, SWPS University in Warsaw, coordinator of one of the semesters of the School of Ideas. Social Innovation Design, member of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre Humanities/Art/Technology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. Anti-discrimination trainer specializing in gender mainstreaming, scientific supervisor of the MyGender Circle.
Monika Masłoń
Control Negative, 2022
25 min.
preview
place: FILM STUDIO / Z
Monika Masłoń's project “Control Negative” is an exercise in loss. In this interactive installation, viewers are invited to participate in a process during which they get to know the mechanisms of illusion, train in the lack of control and influence, observe what happens when they lose what they are used to. Using the VR technique, the author attempts to put the viewer in a state in which strong emotions − such as frustration, helplessness, anger and sadness − reveal basic human mechanisms, including the illusory conviction of being able to control one's life. The unreal world of the experience − a negative version of the real world − is a kind of training room for getting to know yourself and your emotions better. The user is led through consecutive chapters of the piece, which allow for a gradual transition from activity to contemplation.

Monika Masłoń − graduate of the Wł. Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. Defended her diploma in 2008, in the Photography Studio under Prof. Grzegorz Przyborek and in the Photography and Video Studio led by Prof. Konrad Kuzyszyn. From 2011-16, she was a doctoral student at the L. Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź, where, under the supervision of Prof. Józef Robakowski, she completed her doctoral dissertation “See You Again”. She is involved in artistic activities, mainly through realizations based on audiovisual material.
Patryk Jordanowicz, Tadeusz Chudy
"Self", 2022 (work in progres)
work in progress
ROOM 1.25 / NM
How does a mentally ill feel? How does he perceive the world? Or maybe a division into people healthy and mentally ill doesn’t exist at all? For the makers the creation of film and photographic image has been accompanied by an attempt to understand and openness to the world of mental issues for years. "Self", by definition, will be strong and sunk for the viewer in memory of immersion experience. And from experience, which is understood as experience, comes an understanding of otherness, while understanding creates tolerance. No other medium allows the viewer to participate in such a way through audiovisual means, but also above all in spatial terms – distance from the object, enclosure, open space, willingness to touch. Visual and sound stimuli of this project are just a path, a tool to generate emotions similar to those of people affected by mental illness. The creators want to callin the viewer a state of contemplation, melancholy and compassion. "Self" addresses an extremely delicate topic, which is why we create it from the beginning with the participation of people dealing with mental health on a daily basis. VR technology is the most perfect way to transfer the viewer to the mind and body of a mentally ill person and is able to express all of assumptions most fully.

The "Self" story concept is based on a mosaic structure. The presented stories are memories from different stages of the healing process of former patients, and their real-life silhouettes will be set in a minimalistic 3D environment. The retrospectives will materialize as voice-over commentaries, and the use of ambisonic sound will expose the properties of the category, which is cinematic VR.

Patryk Jordanowicz – cinematographer, director. Studied Film Studies at Jagiellonian University and Film and Television Picture Production and Photography at WRiTV UŚ. Cinematographer for many documentaries and feature films, he has worked hundreds of hours on TV series, commercials, music videos. In 2016, together with director Jacek Nagłowski, he shot one of the first live action / CG 3D VR music videos in Europe for the band Loa Frida. In the following years he was the cinematographer of acclaimed VR experiences, these include: the music documentary "Smolik/ Kev Fox on the road" directed by Paweł Orwat and the VR adaptation of the theatrical performance "Biesy" directed by Natalia Korczakowska and VR adaptation by Jacek Nagłowski. In 2019, as part of the College Cinema Biennale, as co-director and cinematographer, he produced the VR experience "Whispers" with Jacek Naglowski, which premiered at the Venice Biennale and won the Special Award at the Cinergia Festival for Best Polish VR in the documentary category. "Whispers" also received the Special Organizers Award at the Lublin Film Festival and the Open Frame Award at the goEast Film Festival 2020.

Tadeusz Chudy – cameraman, photographer. He studied philosophy and film theory at the Jagiellonian University and the making of film image, TV and photography at the Faculty of Radio and Television of the University of Silesia.

lecturers

Ariel Avissar

The Steve Tisch School of Film and Televison
Tel Aviv University

Ágnes Karolina Bakk

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design’s Innovation Center

Katarzyna Boratyn

Lodz Film School
vnLab

Pola Borkiewicz

vnLab

Adam Czarnecki

ARC Research Institute
Warsaw School of Economics

Joséphine Derobe

Ewa Drygalska

the Faculty of New Media Arts
Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw

Krzysztof Franek

Lodz Film School
vnLab

Miłosz Hermanowicz

vnLab

Garry Hall

Media and Performing Arts and Executive Director of the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University

Sanne Jehoul

Glasgow Short Film Festival

Dagna Kidoń

Doctoral School of Social Sciences
vnLab

Ryszard Kluszczyński

Department of New Media and Digital Culture, University of Lodz 

Hartmut Koenitz

Uniwersytet Södertörn, Sweden
visiting research fellow,Trinity College, Dublin

Wiesław Kopeć

XR Lab
Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology in Warsaw

Piotr Krajewski

WRO Art Center

Stanisław Liguziński

vnLab
Film School in Łódź

Dana Linssen 

Critics' Choice

Michał Matuszewski

the Essay Film Studio at Film School in Łódź

Piotr Matysiak

Szkoła Filmowa w Łodzi
vnLab

Kuba Mikurda

Lodz Film School
vnLab

Jacek Nagłowski

vnLab

Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna

Department of Film and Audiovisual Media at the University of Łódź

Krzysztof Pijarski

Lodz Film School
vnLab

Grzegorz Pochwatko

Virtual Reality and Psychophysiology Laboratory of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN)

Justyna Rucińska

vnLab

Magdalena Sobocińska

Lodz Film School
vnLab

Felix Stalder

Digital Culture and Network Theory
the Zurich University of the Arts

Małgorzata Steciak

CinematicVR

Anna Szylar

Visual Narratives Laboratory
Film School in Łódź

Lena Thiele

Miiqo Studios UG

Joanna Zylinska

Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice at Kings College, London