Expanded Animation 2015 - Anezka Sebek (ID/US): Now You Touch It, Now You Don’t: Experiments in Virtual Interfaces
Festival Ars Electronica 2015
Indonesian-born Anezka Sebek has taught full time at Parsons in the MFA in Design and Technology program since 1999. She designs curricula in the BFA/MFA new media technologies such as virtual interaction (head-mounted and projected) as well as teaching in the BFA/MFA in Design and Technology studio and thesis courses. Before turning to teaching, her extensive career in the film industry included projects for television, advertising, documentaries and feature films. She was best known as a visual effects and computer animation producer for technologically complex projects that combined live-action with digital effects. She has written, produced, and directed music videos, narrative shorts, and documentaries. Ms. Sebek served on juries for ACM Siggraph Electronic and Animation Theater (2003/04) and Ars Electronica (2008/09/11/13). She now furthers her study of the human condition at The New School for Social Research. Her Ph. D. dissertation (2015) fieldwork looks at homeless women and children and the lack of educational and social mobility in post-industrial United States.
Presentation: Now You Touch It, Now You Don't: Experiments in Virtual Interfaces
Does the current state of head-mounted and projected virtual world technology extend or limit human experience? Using our eyes to navigate worlds, creating empathic emotions, challenging social behavior and cooperation in immersive virtual worlds are the critical questions that makers and educators of these forms of media are asking.
In this talk, Anezka Sebek, Associate Professor Media Design will review 10 Parsons School of Design projects that explore therapeutic effects, user-driven stories, and unusual perspectives that challenge how we experience physio-virtual realities.
For example, in Henry Lam’s Unequal Paired Cooperative Controls, two users hang suspended from a life-sized wooden seesaw to cooperatively play a game in a virtual cityscape. On the opposite side ofthe spectrum, Geyao Zhang's project allows users to leap tall buildings with a “walking fingers” motion so that they can navigate to a world beyond a world. Our empathic responses are activated when we walk through Lucy Bonner’s city of lascivious men who call out sexual innuendos. In Kamille Rodriguez’ Poison women are raised in industrial meat pens in a world run by pigs. In Alec McClure’s Oral Perspectives, absurd situations are triggered by a jaw sensor combined with the visual interface as the point of view is shifted to the back of the user’s throat. Betty Quinn’s Rokurokubi invites theuser to empathize with uncanny characters to redefine the idea of body and personhood. Barbara Campagnoni’s work with a team of psychotherapists created an anxiety calming mobile application that can also be experienced virtually. Bo Pu and Ben Miller collaborated to create an environment where we have to discover and explore the scene of a recently committed crime.
All projects demonstrated students’ imaginations were uninhibited as they produced immersive worlds with new technologies.