Experience our Versions VR Conference Online

When we started planning our VR conference, Versions, we had only a small inkling of the massively fascinating space we were getting into. We had an intriguing idea: to explore the creative possibilities behind a medium that's currently popularly celebrated for its technological capabilities and to take an interdisciplinary, inter-generational approach; we had a killer partner: Kill Screen, a video game arts and culture company; and we had inspiration from the NEW INC community, many of whom have been making varied and inspiring work in VR this year. Turns out those ingredients were a potent combination!

Taking it all in today, it's clear that we are just at the precipice of an exciting and deeply transformative new medium (a term that was heavily contested on our conference stage, but one that feels right given everything we've seen). Versions debuted at the New Museum on March 5 and 6, with a full day of panel presentations and an accompanying set of eight workshops. We brought together filmmakers, journalists, cultural critics, scientists, researchers and artists to explore the potential of Virtual Reality: What it is, where it's been, and where it's going.

But we didn’t want to limit this conversation to just those who were able to attend in person. We want this event to be a catalyst for a larger discussion that can help shape and define this emerging industry and the kinds of experiences were create in this new space. In this vein, we’ve collected materials from the event for your viewing pleasure. We hope that by reading and watching what came out of Versions, our community can take the next step in defining, together, the future of VR. 

To start off, read through some great conference recaps:

Versions Panels

Saturday's conference brought us five panel discussions, five micro-presentations from NEW INC groups, and two chats with heavy hitters like Gene Dolgoff (inventor of the Holodeck) and Douglas Trumbull (SFX supervisor of 2001: A Space OdysseyBlade Runner, and director of Brainstorm). Coming from different industries and perspectives—but all invested in the future of VR—our speakers presented a high-level discussion that tackled some of the creative challenges, technological limitations and philosophical complexities of this new communications technology. Click through the links below to watch video from each:


KEYNOTE ADDRESS
By Douglas Trumbull

VR: THE LAST MEDIUM?  With Jessica Brillhart, Torfi Frans Olafsson, Neil McFarland, and Rachel Rossin


VR: THE LAST MEDIUM? 
With Jessica Brillhart, Torfi Frans Olafsson, Neil McFarland, and Rachel Rossin

WHERE IS MY MIND? VR ON THE BRAIN With Ken Perlin, Marte Roel, and Skip Rizzo


WHERE IS MY MIND? VR ON THE BRAIN
With Ken Perlin, Marte Roel, and Skip Rizzo

VR AT THE INFLECTION POINT With Janet Murray, Shari Frilot, and Andrew Schoen; Moderated by Monika Bielskyte


VR AT THE INFLECTION POINT
With Janet Murray, Shari Frilot, and Andrew Schoen; Moderated by Monika Bielskyte

FIRESIDE CHAT With Gene Dolgoff


FIRESIDE CHAT
With Gene Dolgoff

DOES VR NEED A HIPPOCRATIC OATH? With Rose Troche, Gabo Arora, and Sam Dolnick; Moderated by Lina Srinastava


DOES VR NEED A HIPPOCRATIC OATH?
With Rose Troche, Gabo Arora, and Sam Dolnick; Moderated by Lina Srinastava

INTIMACY, EMBODIMENT, AND ALIENATION With Ela Darling, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Katherine Isbister; Moderated by Lauren Cornell 


INTIMACY, EMBODIMENT, AND ALIENATION
With Ela Darling, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Katherine Isbister; Moderated by Lauren Cornell 

Featured Projects

These five organizations (four of them from NEW INC!) presented their creative projects between panels on Saturday. Find out more about how they're exploring the creative potential of Virtual Reality.

VR Workshops

Sunday was composted of a series of hands-on workshops. Industry experts came out to  NEW INC to discover everything from new web-based VR tools, to 360 video capture, to game engine environments like Unity, to more cutting-edge techniques like spatial sound and room-scale VR experiences.

 

Reactions to the Conference

So great to have a rich, multi-generational conversation about technology for a change! Thanks @killscreen and @newinc #Ver01
@kcisbister
ways vr can make you nauseous:
- high latency
- bad camera controls
- try and use it as an “empathy engine”
#Ver01
@ra
“Art will continue, whether commerce makes money or not.” @JanetMurray, MVP of #Ver01
@versions
#ver01 Gene Dolgoff, holography pioneer, reversing Victor Hugo quote: nothing is more impotent than an idea whose time has not come
@JanetMurray
@juliaxgulia with VFX legend Douglas Trumbull at #Ver01 .Whoever said you shouldn’t meet your heroes was very wrong.
@torfiFrans
Obsessed with this #Ver01 workshop taught by @sarahrothberg #zivschneider #Versions2016 #unity3d @NEWINC
@srhstevenson
I think I can safely say #Ver01 is the best 1 day conf I’ve been to. Great curation, panels, weird mix of people.+💯 @juliaxgulia @killscreen
@CodyBrown

There were way too many of these amazing quotes for us to use here! Check out the hashtag #Ver01 to see more of the conversation and join in.

 

Thanks

And last but not least — a HUGE shoutout to everyone who helped us! We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks to all of our brilliant speakers, to everyone who came out or contributed to the event, and, especially, to the NEW INC community for serving as an inspiration and a focus group for the conference and workshops.

And of course, thank you to our sponsors and partners:

We look forward to continuing this conversation online over the course of the upcoming year. See you at Versions 2.0!

NEW INC

NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator, is a shared workspace and professional development program designed to support creative practitioners working in the areas of art, technology, and design. Conceived by the New Museum in 2013, the incubator is a not-for-profit platform that furthers the Museum’s ongoing commitment to new art and new ideas.