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CPH:DOX 2024 CPH:DOX Industry

Michelle Kranot • Co-director of Garden Alchemy

“Sharing knowledge is a key element in such an innovative and novel medium”


- The co-director breaks down the current status of her project, which won the prestigious Eurimages New Lab Award for Innovation at CPH:DOX

Michelle Kranot • Co-director of Garden Alchemy

At this year’s CPH:DOX (13-24 March), the Eurimages New Lab Award for Innovation, worth €20,000, went to the CPH:LAB project Garden Alchemy, helmed by Michelle and Uri Kranot, and produced by Denmark’s Peter Fisher (see the news). The Innovation Award is bestowed upon the best innovative and experimental project in development. We reached out to Michelle Kranot, who shared with us some insights into her latest work and its current status.

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Cineuropa: How would you describe the concept of Garden Alchemy, and what are the main themes tackled in the project?
Michelle Kranot:
The project’s main theme is exploring human encounters as an ecological act. Garden Alchemy is a large-scale, intra-active, audiovisual, tactile multi-user XR playground, where we can train, grow and hope for new capacities and ways of being.

How will you use the prize money you have won?
It will allow us to explore in more depth how immersive technology can facilitate new paths of connectivity between humans, freeing them from the constraints of their bodies and prejudices. We would like to conduct more tests with live audiences before moving into producing the piece.

How important do you think your participation in CPH:DOX was, overall?
CPH:LAB proved to be helpful beyond our expectations. Sharing knowledge is a key element in such an innovative and novel medium. We've learned so much from our mentors and fellow participants. Participating in the festival allowed us to test our ideas and prototype on a wide range of industry players. The data we collected over the three days of pitching, presentations and symposiums will be highly valuable in taking Garden Alchemy to the next stage.

What can you tell us about the visual concept and the research work you’re conducting for the project?
We’re conducting our research as part of the R&D department of The Animation Workshop/VIA University College. We’re working with traditional painting and printmaking, and are incorporating the craft of hand-made animation into our digital experiments with game engines and machine learning. Plus, we’re working closely with experts in performing arts and technology, and researchers in education for sustainable development.

What kinds of partners are you looking for?
We are still on the lookout for production funding along with finding partners who can help us distribute this [type of] work – namely, location-based, multi-user installations.

What’s next for you?
We will head towards the second stage of development and the beginning of production, starting on a small scale by testing it on four users before moving on to the optimal full scale of ten players. We need to explore reactivity and interactivity between users, and the incorporation of sound and music as a story element in the piece.

Do you know when the project will be ready?
We are aiming for CPH:DOX 2025 as our destination for the full-scale installation.

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