CPH:LAB merges art with technology and creates new formats at NEXT
by Vassilis Economou
- CANNES NEXT: The “Showcase: Work in Progress CPH:LAB 2017” conference organised by CPH:DOX presented the innovative talent development and production programme’s new projects
The third day of the NEXT conference sessions opened by hosting CPH:DOX’s talent development and production programme, CPH:LAB, and the presentation of the seven new projects that are participating in the 2017 edition.
The festival’s founder and director, Tine Fischer, kicked off the conference by mentioning that since 2009, the programme has been facilitating collaboration between creative and technical professionals, in order to drive innovation processes into the film industry. The programme also focuses on pairing up cross-disciplinary partners and bridging the gap with film festivals and new formats. Fischer also underlined, “Our goal is not only to invite artists; it is also to introduce them to technology that is a real driver so that artistic minds will pair with technology in a completely new format.”
The projects span five thematic areas and were presented by CPH:DOX’s Katrine Kiilgaard, Susanne Marian (Cinemathon) and Colin McSwiggen (Brown University). In the Big Data/Artificial Intelligence area, The Deep Dream of Democracy by Ester Martin Bergsmark and Anastasis Germanidis goes beyond the traditional sci-fi experience as it digs deep to explore the possibility of cracking the algorithms that dehumanise people. In Surveillance, two projects address the topical threats revolving around a lack of privacy, targeting the underhandedness of today’s invisible, manipulative ways of controlling people’s data and personalities: in Zoltar Speaks by Callum Cooper and Hang Do Thi Duc, a fortune-telling machine digs into the web to discover sensitive data, while in Room 642A by Henrik Moltke and Brian Chirls, a room that was used by the NSA for mass surveillance is recreated in VR.
The Impact section project Portraits/Neutopia by Phie Ambo, Theis Schmidt, Alyce Currier and Leah Borromeo launches a campaign of short films that use the language of advertisements to promote social awareness on key issues. Michelangelo Frammartino (The Four Times) is participating with the project Textures of Consciousness, which has been included in the Evolution section and explores questions of human consciousness in a landscape of deep caves that disconnect everyone from the actual environment. Also, Selfish Gene by Alexander Wilson and Mazdak Nassir is taking part in the same section and is a VR journey tracing human evolution.
Finally, in the Social Experiment section, Simon Lajboschitz (Khora VR) is presenting IUWE, a VR experience that recreates memories while trying to answer the question of whether or not technology isolates us. The second project in this section is another VR experience: Shamanic Journey, created by Pia Jensen and Luca Toth, is an inward journey through the unconscious, driven by drumming, rhythm and sound vibration.
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