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EXHIBITION: V/Art Projects

A virtual reality commission and exhibition presented on a free mobile VR app platform for iOS and Android.


With works by Scott Benesiinaabandan, Trudy Erin Elmore, E. Jane, Endam Nihan, Tommy Truong, Fusun Uzun, Thousand Stars, and Tough Guy Mountain

V/Art Projects App Launch 10 November 20176-8PM

Trinity Square Video will launch V/Art Projects, a mobile virtual reality app gallery, created to help promote new understandings of what the virtual can be, and to ask the questions; What does technology allow us to feel, what are its ethics, and what does it mean to be immersed in an artificial reality in a time of political urgency?

Special thanks to EEVO for building the V/Art Projects mobile app and to Jonathan Carroll, Jennifer Chan, and Mohammad Rezaei for their technical support.



Pelican Rock: Monuments (2 scenes at Obishikokaang)
 by Scott Benesiinaabandan
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.

Algorythms by Trudy Erin Elmore
Algorythms is an experimental 360° animation created using motion capture technology and 3D software. The animation is situated in a surreal landscape, evoking an early 2000’s Mac aesthetic, while multiple copies of the same avatar surround the viewer and mindlessly play out our shared online experience. Drawing heavily on the composition and narrative of Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly DelightsAlgorythms explores the circus of humanity that is our online and digital lives: the sublime and the inferior, the monotony and the sensationalism, the artifice and the hyper-reality, the isolationism and the ever-expanding public sphere(s). Algorythms highlights the perils of our digital existence, the snares that have us scrolling mindlessly for hours. Our reward seeking brains keep us gazing at screens, online, distracted, engaged or enraged: caught in temporary illusions.

#Mood Exercises by E. Jane
#Mood Exercises is a series of quick, spontaneous and/or improvised vignettes using Apple Photobooth’s User Backdrop and my body in domestic space. They function as a way for me to think about, perform and record a range of physical and emotional gestures, which I feel is vital for me to do as a Black woman slave descendant, as recorded or acknowledged range of emotion and action is denied to us by the popular imaginary. In converting the videos to VR, I’m in-terested in the abstraction of form the conversion creates, the way the videos are warped and glitched by the process, something the project already engages as the photobooth green screen doesn’t always pick up my body properly and moves with the light creating abstractions in the videos.

Final Session by Endam Nihan
In this piece, I abstract a sequence of performative gestures and affects distilled from recently documented cases of femicide in Turkey. The private-domestic aesthetic space of a virtual ‘exercise’ tutorial session becomes an occasion to elicit physical and verbal responses from view-ers in the tradition of a call and response video. I lead viewers step-by-step through a bodily tutorial, emplacing them in a semi disorienting state suspended between the seductive capacities of immersive video and the reciprocally repulsive forces of patriarchal fragility. Viewers are invit-ed to consider the consequences of performative mimicry of expressions of pure masculine violence and technical mediation insofar as the virtual tutorial instruction foregrounds repetition of vocal and physical gestures through my direct address. Reflecting on the notion that resistance begins in the imagination, the work unfolds like a reverie and never quite settles into position of overt critique, narrative catharsis, or public service announcement.

The Passing by Thousand Stars
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.

Guided Meditation by Tough Guy Mountain
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 ten minutes out of your busy business day to focus, concentrate and increase productivity.

Grow by Tommy Truong
A constructed digital cityscape created with ‘forgotten’ found footage titled -MOV00001. A reflection on our digital obsession, and hoarding tendencies.

Very Frustrating Mexican Removal by Fusun Uzun
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.


Image credits:

(above) Pelican Rock: Monuments (2 scenes at Obishikokaang) by Scott Benesiinaabandan (2017)
(below) The Passing by Thousand Stars (2017)

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