As the intersection of art and technology grows more crowded, Sundance Institute showcases a curated collection of cutting-edge independent experimental media works by creators who are pushing the artistic development of the new mediums of VR, AR, mixed reality (MR) and AI. The 2018 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival offers some of the most innovative independent production and experimentation at the crossroads of film, art and technology that is being created today. Programmers assembled an international slate of VR, MR, and AI from a mix of invitations and submissions to an open call for VR work earlier this year.
New Frontier’s footprint at the Festival has continued to evolve, responsive to increased demand. This year, New Frontier programming encompasses three venues:
- The New Frontier Exhibition at Kimball Art Center will host immersive dance and cutting edge VR & MR works as well as works involving Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- New Frontier at The Ray, where works will range from VR, MR, and AR to AI and new media technologies. The Box at New Frontier at The Ray, a 40-seat mobile VR cinema, will showcase four different mobile VR programs over the course of the Festival.
- The VR Bar at Music Cafe offers a selection of The New Frontier mobile VR program, plus world premieres of hot, late-breaking VR content created by some of the most exciting companies in the field.
Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “Technology-enabled storytelling continues to develop into a thriving industry. It’s essential to protect the creative spaces where creators can develop work and reach audiences independent of commercial pressures. The work that we showcase at New Frontier sets the agenda for the year in creative cross-media storytelling.”
Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator, New Frontier, said, “This year’s artists push the boundaries of a host of new technologies in powerful and surprising ways. The story creates the body and the corpus takes on new meaning, offering a new framework for personal interactions in modern society.”
New Frontier alumni include Doug Aitken, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Milk, Nonny de la Peña, Pipilotti Rist, and Jennifer Steinkamp. The Institute’s support extends well beyond its curated slate of Festival projects, and includes the annual New Frontier Story Lab, which offers mentorship and development opportunities for new media storytellers, New Frontier Day Labs in cities nationwide and the New Frontier Residency Program, which combines the might of partners such as MIT Media Lab’s Social Computing Group and Jaunt Studios to drive groundbreaking data-visualization and VR storytelling tools, training and resources to independent artists.
In addition to the New Frontier program announced today, films across all categories, including works in the Shorts, Special Events and new-this-year Indie Episodic sections, have been announced and are listed at sundance.org/festival.
Frankenstein AI: A Monster Made by Many / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno, Rachel Ginsberg, Key Collaborators: Nick Childs, Hunter Owens, Brandon Powers) — By challenging dystopian perspectives around Artificial Intelligence, this immersive experience re-imagines Shelley’s seminal work to examine the cultural ramifications of pervasive, ubiquitous technology. Participants interact with an artificial intelligence, co-creating a shared narrative around the implications of unleashing this naive, intelligent “monster,” both mythical and imminent, into the world.