DOK Exchange Speakers 2018
Zeina Abi Assy
“Decentralizing VR: For Whom Are We Creating VR? - Questions about audience, access, and problematic narratives.”
Zeina Abi Assy is a writer and media artist from Lebanon. She is the Director of Interactive Programs at Tribeca Film Institute. She has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School, and a BFA in Graphic Design from The American University of Beirut. In her work, she explores the complex intersection between the personal and the global manifestation of culture, technology, art, and politics. And she is one of the founders of a literary and arts organization called The Seventh Wave.
"Is Sky The Only Limit? Questions about Ethics and Responsibility in VR"
Her first film was a Polish-Belgian documentary I Want (No) Reality on the famous avant-garde theatre group Needcompany. Currently she works as a director on a transmedia project The Future of Forever (doc/ VR/ game), and as a creative producer on a VR experience Crossed-Out Warsaw. Ana is an experienced audiovisual producer working for many years for ITI Media Group – the largest private broadcaster in Poland. She is one of the media consultants for The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland, as well as other public institutions and private companies. Ana travels the world as a digital media & VR expert and enthusiast. In 2018 she founded Petersdottir Media – a creative initiative that focuses on modern storytelling: from high-end audiovisual productions, immersive and interactive experiences, digital challenges, to media education and marketing solutions.
"Virtual Environments at the Intersection of Arts, Technology and Society"
Jürgen Hagler is a professor for Computer Animation and Animation Studies in the Digital Media department at the Hagenberg Campus of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. In 2009, he was named pedagogical coordinator of the Digital Arts master’s programme. Since 2014, he is the co-head of the research group Playful Interactive Environments with a focus on the investigation of new and natural playful forms of interaction and the use of playful mechanisms to encourage specific behavioral patterns. He has served as director of the Ars Electronica Animation Festival and initiator/organizer of the festival’s Expanded Animation symposium since 2017.
“Embedded Narratives in VR and literature”
Mika Johnson is a filmmaker, photographer and writer who directs VR projects, music videos, and fiction and documentary films. Recent works include a virtual reality adaptation of Act I of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Confessions of a Box Man, a surrealist feature inspired by Kobo Abe's The Box Man, and Forever Professor: an award-winning film on Mark McKinley, a psychologist obsessed with time who has the largest collection of talking clocks in the world. From 2011-2013, Johnson directed 15 episodes of The Amerikans: a web series presently being made into a feature film. Based in Prague, Johnson teaches VR workshops, directing, documentary and is a guest speaker and consultant. His next virtual reality project is an adaptation of the Cretan Minotaur myth.
“Beyond the Empathy Machine - exploring layers of reality”
Sandra Rodriguez, PhD. is a creative director and sociologist of new media technologies. Exploring non-fiction for 16 years, she writes and directs award-winning documentary films, webdocs and VR experiences, works as UX consultant and is a regular speaker on digital storytelling and human centered design. In parallel, Dr. Rodriguez is a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Doc Lab, and teaches MIT’s very first curriculum in VR Immersive Media Production (Oculus NextGen; www.hackingvr.mit.edu). She combines a strong creative voice, immersive and interactive know-how, and a passion for our human relations to algorithmic and technical developments.
"Creating a story through Embodiment - A more holistic approach to gamedesign"
Niki Smit is designer of play at art collective Monobanda, which he co-founded. He functions as art director and gameplay designer primarily, working in the firm believe that playful experiences should be both multisensory and poetic. Smit is also a teacher and lecturer at the animation department of the Willem de Kooning Art Academy in Rotterdam, where is teaches cinematography, visual storytelling & interactive narrative, disruptive concept design and even manages to slip in a game design course every now and then. Smit regularly gives talks and workshops on the importance of free play within interactive media, and a more holistic view on playful gamedesign.
“Pitfalls in interdisciplinary workflows”
Philipp has studied Film- and TV directing at FAMU Prague and editing at the Filmuniversity Potsdam Babelsberg. Directing his first narrative 180° panorama film The Imagonaut, starting in 2011 (premiere: Berlinale Talents International Filmfestival 2014) he startet to think outside the rectangular frame. At INVR.SPACE he is responsible for developing narrative concepts for Virtual Reality and creative postproduction workflows for our custom built camerasystems.
“Virtual Reality is not Reality”
With a background in cultural management, Annina Zwettler joined ARTE Deutschland in 2014 as a programme manager and editor. In her role, she works on the French-German broadcaster’s content and digital properties strategy and latest developments such as VR and AR. Before she was a curator/project manager and assistant to the board of directors at the Center of Art and Media – ZKM l Karlsruhe and Technisches Museum Wien. Her experiences include the realisation of contemporary art and historical exhibitions, the development of digital content and VR to architecture projects and sponsor acquisition. As a mentor, she takes part in the interdisciplinary VR:RV program the Goethe Institute Montreal initiated 2018. Annina Zwettler is especially interested in new narrative forms and digital storytelling.