PROGRAMMING: Forwards – Practicing Moving in One Place

Forwards: Practicing Moving in One Place;
a VR experiential tour presented by V/Art Projects and SUBPAC,
lead by guest programmer by Tak Pham

16 January 2018, 7PM-8:30PM

Limited space, only 10 spots available!! To reserve a spot contact 

Pushing against the common conception of virtual reality (VR) experience which deals on advertising sensorial experience at the comfort of one’s couch, this experimental workshop FORWARDS invites guests to practice moving in one place. Using works by artists from the new V/Art Projects presented on a mobile reality app gallery, FORWARDS expands on the virtuality of the experience inside a real life setting of 401 Richmond Street W. building to constitute an augmented reality. The selection of the work follows a curatorial logic that provides opportunities to explore multiple duality that is synonymous with a VR experience: passive/ active; able/disable; mobile/stationary; or virtual/ actual; and ultimately, sensorial synergy.

List of works included in tour:

1) The Passing by Thousand Stars Studio (3:25 mins)
The Passing is a VR experience where the user is a companion to a young girl on a journey through a quiet forest stream. The user shares a boat ride at sunset with the girl who points out the flora and fauna of the forest. At nightfall, the user temporarily loses their vision and is separated from the girl. In the end, the user is lead astray from the girl by the flow of the forest stream. This experience explores themes of grief, healing, and recovery and allows the user to immerse themselves in these themes in an abstract and fantastical setting.

2) Guided Meditation by Tough Guy Mountain (2:00+ mins)
Close your eyes, relax your breathing, and enter the world of Tough Guy Mountain. Float through the Brandscape, roaming free amongst the proto-symbols of corporate aesthetic. Ascend and descend through the many levels of the corporation’s mysterious HQ. Take time out of your busy business day to focus, concentrate and increase productivity.

3) Grow by Tommy Truong (2:07 mins)
A constructed digital cityscape created with ‘forgotten’ found footage titled -MOV00001. A reflection on our digital obsession, and hoarding tendencies.

4) Very Frustrating Mexican Removal by Fusun Uzun (7:09 min)
Very Frustrating Mexican Removal is an immersive, verbatim 360° documentary about Canadian immigration detention system. The artwork employs the practice of Verbatim Theatre and techniques and technologies of 360° Cinema to present the events surrounding the death in 2013 of migrant Lucia Vega Jimenez while in detention with the Canada Border Services Agency. Created at OCAD, Digital Futures Program, the main objective of the thesis was to question what is visible in the Canadian migrant detention system by looking its out-of- sight bodies. Re-search started with an examination of the Forensic Architecture collective and obtaining materials that would articulate Lucia’s story. Videos available online demonstrated the architecture of detention center, which served as the initial core evidence representing the constraints that detained migrants face. Reading the coroner’s inquest transcriptions allowed the many traces left behind in Lucia’s case to appear and build the story. The forensic gaze of 360° film and verba-tim theatre combined are the artistic substrate of a digital immersive experience of enactment that merges theoretical considerations of networks, assemblies, and appearingness, with the lived experience of Lucia.

5) Pelican Rock: Monuments (2 scenes at Obishikokaang) by Scott Benesiinaabandan (2:46 mins)
This work continues the artist’s investigations into monuments and the psychic/subconscious landscapes they inhabit and histories they inform. This photo and VR based work is an inquiry and an experiential look at a very specific space in Obishikokaang Anishinaabe (Lac Seul First Nations, Ontario) territory: one large grandfather stone left alone in a large clear-cut. This piece will bring the viewer into this space, an homage to this potentially problematic space of overlap and interconnection, destruction and growth


Tak Pham is a Vietnamese new media curator, art critic and architectural historian based in Toronto. Pham’s curatorial approach concerns with spatial experience inside exhibitionary spaces. Pham’s research examines contemporary consequences of modern architectural movements, and how contemporary art can ameliorate urban circumstances by actively looking for adaptive-reuse methods to investigate and re-imagine its possibilities using through a diverse set of technology and techniques.