Styles and Customs of the 2020’s – A Dystopian VR Fine Art Exhibit of the Near Future

How do new photographic technologies shape the virtual realm? This is the question explored by Scatter and four visionary, international artists, Kim Laughton, Rachel Rossin, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, and Alan Warburton at the Carnegie Museum of Art‘s grandiose Hall of Architecture this spring and summer. Styles and Customs of the 2020s is a dystopian room scale VR art installation commissioned by the Hillman Photographic Initiative and prompted by collaboratively generated text published by DIS magazine.

Guided and supported by Scatter, each artist was commissioned to conjure a unique dystopian VR portal into the not so distant future. The impetus for each of the artist’s resulting VR worlds were prompted by snippets of text judiciously selected by each of the artists from a collaborative writing project commissioned by DIS. Subsequently, each VR world is a unique, beautiful, and slightly unsettling experience, yet all share decontextualized threads torn from the fabric of the original source text. The interrelated VR pieces are not passive experiences; the worlds require the viewer to physically move within the VR space to completely unwrap hidden meanings, mechanics, and messages. The four near future VR worlds are connected by a timeless, VR, fire lit cave. The cave functions as gateway of sorts from which the participant gently enters and exits the separate artists’ realities and acts as an interstitial respite between the dystopian VR words.

Vermont Digital Arts‘, Elliott Mitchell, had the good fortune to work with the cutting edge innovators at Scatter and DIS, as well as the four talented fine artists on this ambitious VR art project. Having roots in the fine arts as well as game development, Elliott contributed to Styles and Customs of the 2020s in the role of Technical Director and Lead Developer.

Styles and Customs of the 2020s opened March 16th and will run until September 4th at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh where you can experience the exhibit in person. Not wanting to spoil the joy of discovery for those of you who have yet to visit the museum, we have been intentionally vague in our descriptions of the artist’s VR worlds. After the exhibit concludes, we will post an update with more detailed images, videos and descriptions covering the breadth of the exhibit. If you wish to read more about the exhibit now, take a look here.

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Björk Digital – Virtual Reality Taken To A New Level

Musical pioneer and artist extraordinaire, Björk, has been diving head first into Virtual Reality with her traveling art exhibit Björk Digital. The VR exhibit is a work in progress which features four VR music experiences from Björk’s “Vulnicura” album. Our resident artist, Elliott Mitchell, was fortunate enough to have had a small role working with environment art on one of the VR pieces. Checkout this video clip from Björk’s Instagram account which includes some of Elliott’s handy work!

A post shared by Björk (@bjork) on

Video Games At The 2013 Vermont Arts Summit

Vermont_State_House_front

Front view of the Vermont State House (taken Sept. 23, 2004) – © 2004 Matthew Trump

Vermont Digital Arts is honored to have been invited to represent in the 2013 Vermont Arts Summit at the Vermont State House!

When: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Where: Vermont State House
Montpelier, VT

Elliott Mitchell, Vermont Digital Arts co-founder, will be speaking on the panel The Art of Great Digital Games:

Background art, character development, textures – each of these and many more forms of artistic output are essential to many of today’s most popular games. Narrative, music composition and sound design can drive some of the best in-game experiences. So why don’t video and mobile games have more credibility when it comes to art and arts-based learning? Hear from three developers of mobile games about the serious opportunities for creating and experiencing great art through personal devices. Through discussion we’ll explore ways classic studio skills can be augmented and deployed using mobile, hand-held, and PC computers. Moderated by Lars Hasselblad Torres.

Marguerite Dibble of Birnam Wood Games , Josh Buck of Champlain College , Daniel Moore of Toonuva Games and Lars Hasselblad Torres of The Vermont Office of the Creative Economy will be  joining with Elliott on stage to speak about video games in the arts.

If you are interested in making games in the State of Vermont then Register here!