Copresented by NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator for art, design, and technology, and Kill Screen, a video game arts and culture company, Versions is a conference on creative practice and virtual reality (VR) that explores VR as an emerging medium. Though VR has existed in some form since the 1960s and in the realm of science fiction for much longer, 2016 promised to be a breakthrough year for this technology, which featured high-profile product launches and major releases in VR games and film. Conversations spanned VR’s proclaimed status as an “empathy machine” to how it is being leveraged by journalists and the military; addressed urgent questions regarding emerging standards around ethics and practice; considered the technology’s relationship to the brain and its neurological and psychological effects; and examined how creative practitioners exploit the format’s opportunities for embodiment and immersion.
VR: The Last Medium?
Jessica Brillhart, Principal Filmmaker for Virtual Reality at Google; Torfi Frans Olafsson, Creative Director at EVE Universe IP Development; Neil McFarland, Director of Games at ustwo; and Rachel Rossin, artist. Moderated by Jamin Warren, Founder, Kill Screen
Featured NEW INC Project: “Giant”, presented by Milica Zec and Winslow Turner Porter III
Where Is My Mind? VR on the Brain
Skip Rizzo, Director of Medical Virtual Reality at USC Institute for Creative Technologies; Ken Perlin, Professor at New York University; and Marte Roel, Cofounder of BeAnotherLab. Moderated by Julia Kaganskiy, Director at NEW INC
Featured NEW INC Project: Kokowa, presented by Jesse Finkelstein, Meredith Finkelstein and Peter Zusman
VR at the Inflection Point
Shari Frilot, Chief Curator of New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival; Janet Murray, Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and author of “Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace”; Aaron Koblin, Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer at VRSE; and Andrew Schoen, Venture Capital Investor at New Enterprise Associates. Moderated by Monika Bielskyte, Founder of All Future Everything
Featured NEW INC Project: IrisVR, presented by Shane Scranton
Fireside Chat with Gene Dolgoff, Founder of 3DSource and inventor of the Holodeck
Featured NEW INC Project: DepthKit, presented by James George.
Does VR Need a Hippocratic Oath?
Gabo Arora, filmmaker and Senior Advisor at United Nations; Sam Dolnick, Associate Editor of New York Times; and Rose Troche, filmmaker. Moderated by Lina Srivastava, cofounder of Regarding Humanity.
Intimacy, Embodiment, and Alienation
Ela Darling, performer and Cofounder of VRtube.xxx; Katherine Isbister, Professor at University of California, Santa Cruz; and Jacolby Satterwhite, artist. Moderated by Lauren Cornell, Curator and Associate Director of Technology Initiatives at the New Museum.
Featured Project: Mecha Mouse, presented by A Good Place
Keynote Address by Douglas Trumbull, filmmaker; Visual Effects Supervisor of “Blade Runner”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. Director of “Brainstorm” and “Silent Running”.