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The Review/

2167: Indigenous Storytelling in VR

Three artists who were commissioned to make VR projects as part of 2167 discussed the inspiration behind their work and how they utilized the evolving technology

by
Dec 31, 2013

2167, a VR exhibition that envisioned Indigenous life 150 years in the future, was conceived at a time when funding for Canada’s sesquicentennial was becoming available to organizations wishing to mark the occasion. Jason Ryle, fascinated by stories about the future and the teachings of these stories, wanted to use the opportunity to bring Indigenous artists together to imagine and present a future to audiences.

Three of the exhibition’s artists — Danis Goulet (The Hunt), Scott Benesiinaabandan (Blueberry Pie Under a Martian Sky), and Raven Chacon of Postcommodity (Each Branch Determined) — joined imagineNATIVE industry delegates and post-secondary students to provide insights into the creation of their VR projects. Each artist shared their initial approach and inspiration, considered the ways they were inspired by a connection to land, tradition, and language, and discussed the ways they did or did not consider the occasion of the sesquicentennial.

The conversation also focused on a number of topics related to the practical aspects and opportunities of storytelling in VR, including the challenges of working with an evolving technology, creating media for a single observer, and the techniques used to focus the audience’s attention in an immersive and self-directed medium.

This event was held on October 20, 2017, at TIFF Bell Lightbox and was moderated by Jason Ryle, Artistic Director of imagineNATIVE. This event was presented by CMF as part of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, with support from TIFF Higher Learning.

2167 was commissioned and produced by TIFF, imagineNATIVE, Pinnguaq, and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, and is supported by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Harbinger Foundation, and Canada Council for the Arts.