Jan 6, 2020
The ATLAS residency in Taiwan was not only about coding, 360° capture and workshops...
It was also exhibitions, international conferences, mentoring...
We consider ATLAS as an endless adventure in which we create multiple chapters. Like explorers discovering new continents.
And the further we go in the project, the more we realize that this state of permanent work-in-progress is in the DNA of ATLAS.
This modularity allows us to present new chapters to the public on a regular basis, as a TV series could do.
During the period of residency in Taiwan no less than 4 ATLAS exhibitions were presented, some of them simultaneously!
- At the Festival Pictures Brussels (BELGIUM), with for the first time an exhibition of ATLAS without the virtual components.
- At XR Dreamland Festival Kaohsiung (TAIWAN).
Where we premiered the VR version for Oculus Quest created during the residency in Taiwan.
This version, for the first time, did not require the presence of ATLAS artists, nor any computer for the computation.
Even if the performative aspect is very important in ATLAS, some events need simpler configurations, which do not require the presence of the artists.
This festival was also an opportunity to exchange with talented VR creators, since ATLAS was played alongside The Line by Ricardo Laganaro, or Eve by Margherita Bergamo and Daniel González. Artists with whom we share certain visions, such as the taste of playing on VR change of scales, or the place of live-performance in a virtual experience.
- At Festival Maintenant / Rennes (FRANCE)
Where ATLAS was brought to the public by a super-prepared mediation team.
- At Beaux-Arts Mons (BELGIUM).
Where we took advantage of the Insta360 Pro2 camera to film this exhibition in 360° stereoscopic.
We are always looking for the maximal connections between the physical spaces (the exhibitions) and the virtual spaces.
Mons exhibition in 360° stereoscopic, with its portal to the Pacific Ocean (Jin Lun / Taiwan)
All of the 22 ATLAS exhibitions to date as well as future exhibitions can be viewed at this address: http://atlas-experience.xyz/#Agenda.
The feedbacks from these exhibitions about the VR part has allowed us to define the goals of the second part of the residency in Taiwan: a more autonomous version, and including many features that we were asked to provide: the possibility to grow houses in the ocean, in caves, vertically...
More details in the next blogpost!
The team has grown with the arrival of Yishai, a new "shaman" in addition to Marie and Yann ("Shaman" is the name we give to the people in charge of the live AR/VR performances during IMMERSIO or ATLAS :)
Marie, who worked from her studio in Brussels during the residency period, was inspired by Asian architecture for a new series of houses, this time using paper in addition to the usual materials, with more curved shapes for the roofs.
These exhibitions were also an opportunity to give several lectures for Marie:
- Technology to enhance the user experience (Mons / Belgium)
- When digital arts come to school (Spa / Belgium)
And for Yann:
- “ATLAS” Artist Residency Case Study – Immersive Storytelling with Multi Format (Kaohsiung / Taiwan)
- Virtual & augmented realities: exploring new artistic languages (Rennes / France)
- Creation and production of an Extended Reality (XR) artwork (TaiChung / Taiwan)
- Panel: Virtual / Reality-Transforming the way of creating and experiencing arts through digital technology (TaiChung / Taiwan)
- Panel: Integration of technological innovation and human thinking in interdisciplinary arts practice (TaiChung / Taiwan)
The lectures were given in English, French and as well in French with simultaneous translation into Mandarin (impressive work of the interpreters, not easy to translate live VR discussions!)
At Digital November 2019 Taichung / Taiwan
During these lectures, we experienced "live-demos" of the stand-alone version of ATLAS for Oculus Quest, developed during the first part of the residency in Taiwan.
As you know, the principle of a live-demo of an interactive application is always the same: it crashes right in the middle of the presentation in front of the audience!
Well we can say it proudly, our live-demos have contradicted this immutable law, everything worked perfectly :)
A brave spectator tests the latest version of Atlas in live, while what she is seeing is shown on the screen.
We're still very impressed by the reliability and versatility of the Oculus Quest, which we believe is the first XR device to reach this level of maturity.
The transition from HTC Vive to the Oculus Quest was not without difficulty, however, and took several weeks.
Indeed, the optimization work required to move from a €2000 PC-calculated experience to an Android smartphone processor is not trivial!
Optimization of textures, of shadows, of code...
We finally managed to do it, with an image quality still very acceptable, a huge comfort of use gained (no more cable needed), and an increased capacity (we only had one HTC Vive before, we now have five simultaneous Oculus Quest).
Unfortunately some features of the HTC Vive version are not yet available on the Quest, as Oculus does not give developers access to the headset cameras. What a pity!
Message to Oculus/Facebook: Please do not block your features to independent developers! We've got lots of ideas!
You can see the full lecture Virtual & augmented realities: Exploring new artistic languages at Rennes at this link:
https://player.vimeo.com/video/366946521 (French speaking)
As well as a Live Demo of the Quest version at the end :)
During the XR Dreamland festival in Kaohsiung we mentored young VR creators during the Talent Workshop of the VR FILM LAB.
The two projects tutored by Yann, DORA by Yi Jung CHEN (an interactive VR experience through the mind of a Freud patient) and TOUCH OF HEART by Pei-Lu HSI and Shao-Wen LEE (a dive into the regrets of two spectators), are fascinating.
The tutoring work consisted in helping these creators on subjects such as pitching techniques or production process.
These projects may present some links with ATLAS, like the surreal and interactive aspect of DORA or the asymmetrical multi-user experience aspect of TOUCH OF HEART, so we were honored to share some tricks :)
They both won awards at the end of the festival, so we hope to be able to try some prototypes in the next few months!
Stay tuned on this blog to get a preview of the advances of the VR worlds created during the residency in Taiwan!
ATLAS - Residency in Taiwan - 4 - WORKSHOP CHILDREN GAMES
Marie-G. Losseau & Yann Deval
WITH THE SUPPORT OF
la Ville de Mons
Kaohsiung Film Archive,
Kaohsiung VR FILM LAB,
Forum des Images,
Bureau français de Taipei
Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan,
Kaohsiung City Government,
Bureau of Cultural Affairs,
Economic Development Bureau
the STARTS Residencies Project
as part of the STARTS program of the European Commission
Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale de Molenbeek Saint-Jean
Microsoft Innovation Center Belgique