The world’s largest ever XR fine arts exhibit opens to the public today, Friday, October 12 at the sp[a]ce gallery in Pasadena. Curated by Jesse Damiani, Editor-at-Large of VRScout (and fellow Forbes contributor), Spatial Reality: Artists Explore the Future of XR features the work of over twenty-five world-class artists. Open to the public from October 12 through October 28 attendees will walk through the gallery and can experience nine days of fully immersive programming, panel discussions, and demonstration.
So far the popularity of AR and VR technologies has been driven by entertainment, but with any new medium comes new forms of artistic expression. Artists are at the forefront of innovation and novel ideas on how extended reality will reshape our future. Spatial Reality curator Damiani sees fine art as our bridge between the current digital age, and the age of spatial computing.
“The advent of mainstream immersive technologies is a paradigm shift so massive we’ve only just begun to taste its impact,” says Damiani. “Marshall McLuhan famously claimed that ’the medium is the message’, but what happens when reality itself is the medium?”
While some of the artists work solely in the digital realm, others come from more traditional visual arts backgrounds and have found XR opens doors to entirely new levels of creativity. Wesley Allsbrook began her career as an editorial illustrator after attending the Rhode Island School of Design for Illustration. While receiving impressive recognition for her illustrative work, Wesley experienced a year of struggle complete with nine months of homelessness. Things turned around at the end of 2015 when Oculus Story Studio hired Wesley to work on Dear Angelica, a walkable VR film. Oculus’s Inigo Quilez created VR drawing program Quil for Wesley’s use on the project and she’s been creating art in VR ever since.
When asked why creating art in VR is special for her, Wesley stated, “I like this kind of work because it’s format-free and because my body doesn’t get in the way of what I want to make in the empty, physics-less space of the program. Without a referential format making each and every creation something unique.”
Another featured artist, Trudy Elmore, began her career as a drawing and painting student at OCAD University in Ontario, Canada. After finding the work of Berlin design studio Zeitguised Trudy was inspired to dive into the digital realm. “I love the serial nature of the digital realm and as a former Luddite, it’s an exciting and challenging field to be in.”
Attendees of Spatial Reality: Artists Explore the Future of XR can meet more of the artists each weekend during the exhibit’s stay at sp[a]ce gallery. The gallery will be open from 12pm-6pm every Saturday and Sunday until October 28. Attendees of the exhibit can learn more each weekend with one-day-only artist talks, tech demos, activations, and more. Notably, all proceeds from the Spatial Reality exhibit directly benefit the contributing artists as well as ArtCenter, CalArts, City of Hope, and Innovate Pasadena.
Special events during the exhibit’s stay include:
Friday, October 12
Hit + Run Live Screen-Printing + Music, 7pm — 10pm
Featuring visionary XR artist and collaborator Isaac “Cabibo” Cohen, and HIT+RUN recording artists MONO/POLY and ELUDEM
Coinciding with Art Night Pasadena, Hit + Run, the world-traveling originators of live screen-printing, will take over the gallery for an evening of collaboration, wearable art and music. Food will be provided by the Kogi Food Truck.
Saturday, October 13
Process Discussion and VR Demo with Trudy Elmore, 2pm — 4pm
Trudy’s Funeral Homies is featured prominently in the show, and her talk will dive into her creative process and the future of hybrid digital art.
Sunday, October 14
VR Demo with Nancy Baker Cahill, 2pm — 4pm
Featuring four immersive virtual reality experiences
We are featuring Nancy’s 4thWall AR App, and only on October 14 will be a chance to meet Nancy and demo her suite of four virtual reality programs, Hollow Point 1, 2, and 3 and Strange Laugh.
Saturday, October 20
VR Demo with Kevin Mack | Shape Space VR, 2pm — 4pm
Kevin Mack in person showcasing Anandala, Blortasia, and Zen Parade
If you have not experienced Kevin Mack’s virtual worlds before, get ready for a mind-blowing experience. The Oscar-winning effects artist has been honing his skills in VR for years and the viewer benefits from the fruits of his labor.
Saturday, October 21
VR Demo with Wesley Allsbrook, 2pm — 4pm
Wesley Allsbrook in person discussing her latest work, including a Q&A
Wesley’s VR credits are Dear Angelica and The Sunladies. Dear Angelica, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was featured at the Venice Film Festival, awarded at Raindance, and nominated for an Emmy. She makes digital art, animation, VR art and installation, and comics.
Saturday, October 27
VR Demo with Steve Teeps and John Orion Young, 2pm — 4pm
Featuring a Live Oculus Medium Sculpt and Q&A with the artists
Steve was one of the first Tilt Brush Artists in Residence at Google and early beta tester for Oculus Medium and Touch Controllers. John Orion Young (JOY) is a VR artist who works primarily in Oculus Medium on a yellow PC he built himself. This live demo will be a must for Oculus Medium fans!
Sunday, October 28
CalArts Alumni Closing Party, 12pm — 6pm
Google Spotlight Stories event with Jorge R. Gutierrez (“Son of Jaguar”)and Chromosphere’s Theresa Latzko (“Sonaria”) in person
The event is moderated by legendary CalArts Experimental Animation faculty, Michael Scroggins. Google Spotlight Stories is the Oscar-nominated, Emmy award-winning platform for immersive stories at the forefront of using mobile 360, mobile VR and room-scale VR headsets to create compelling content, and building the innovative tech that makes it possible.
Ticketing info: General admission tickets are complimentary. A reservation provides admission to the exhibit for the day specified on the ticket, but entry time is not guaranteed due to the limited capacity of the event space. Entry will be contingent on occupancy.
VIP tickets are available for $45 and provide guaranteed access at reserved 90-minute time slots. VIP tickets assure immediate access to all experiences and allow ticket holders to go to the head of the line. Please see the website for more detailed info on ticketing: http://space.ayzenberg.com/
Spatial Reality: Artists Explore the Future of XR will be open to the public from October 13 to October 28, 2018, with a public opening on Friday, October 12, 2018, 7pm — 10pm.
Originally published at www.forbes.com on October 12, 2018.