Peabody Futures of Media Award Columbia University School of the Arts 2019 Special Jury Prize, Digital Storytelling Lab
Tribeca Film Festival 2018 Official Selection   Official Selection Seattle International Film Festival 2018   Official Selection Insde Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival 2018   SIGGRAPH Village 2018   LA Film Festival Official Selection 2018   VRFEST MX 2018   Geneva International Film Festival Official Selection 2018   Houston Cinema Arts Festival Official Selection 2018   Roze Filmgaden Amsterdam Official Selection 2019

Queerskins: a love story (Chapter 1)

In this emotionally-charged haptic experience for Oculus Rift with Touch, visitors are seated in the back seat of a photorealistic vintage 1986 Cadillac, behind two grieving parents, Ed and Mary-Helen, as they take a magic realist journey down a country road in rural Missouri. Visitors get to know Sebastian through the drama unfolding in intimate proximity in the front seat as well as by interacting with artifacts from his life, a collection of personal belongings including his diary they find in a box on the seat next to them.

The Experience

Hands holding a borken porcelain sculpture

Installation

The virtual reality experience is anchored in a physical, interactive, immersive installation in which we recreate a domestic space—Sebastian’s childhood home—populated with historically accurate, crowd-sourced, and curated objects. We encourage visitors to explore this space before or after experiencing virtual reality.

See all installations →
Driving a card through the Missouri country side

Virtual Reality Experience

The visitor is positioned in the back seat of a car within intimate proximity of Depthkit rendered volumetric characters: Mary-Helen, Sebastian’s mother, in the front passenger seat and Ed, Sebastian’s father, who drives. Surrounded by an oppressive silence, but unobserved, the visitor has the opportunity to focus on dialogue and the body language of the two characters. 3D scanned objects appear in the box next to the visitor on the car seat. The story is revealed through the visitor’s interaction with the objects.

Your stories

Sailor

Through art, love, technology, and storytelling we can create novel forms of connection and new ways of sharing. For Queerskins, this possibility rests upon a basic truth: although every person’s story is unique, the experience of love and loss is universally and quintessentially human.

We asked visitors who came to experience Queerskins: a love story to share their own stories of love and loss. Here are their stories.

See stories now →

Cast

Hadley Boyd Hadley Boyd
as Mary-Helen
Drew Moore Drew Moore
as Ed
Christopher Vo Christopher Vo
as Alex
Michael DeBartolo Michael DeBartolo
as Sebastian

The Creators

Illya Szilak is an independent scholar, writer and new media artist. In her art practice, she uses open source media and collaborations forged via the Internet to create multimedia narrative installations online.

Shaped by her experience as a physician, her artistic practice explores mortality, embodiment, identity, and belief in a media inundated by an increasingly virtual world.

Her first work Reconstructing Mayakovsky was included in the second Electronic Literature Collection and has been taught both as an example of innovative narrative game and literature at the university level. Her second work Queerskins: A Novel was included in the third Electronic Literature Collection.

Choreographer Brandon Powers creates seamless visceral experiences at the intersection of theatre, dance, and technology. The form of these experiences are determined and constructed by fusing techniques from by background in immersive theatre, musical theatre, and Modern dance. Brandon is committed to investigating technology’s effect on our culture, minds and private experiences by creating experiences which embrace technology’s role in our lives as a connector and community building tool.

Cyril Tsiboulski is co-founder and creative director at Cloudred, a digital design practice that is both an independent content-producing creative studio and a service-based agency with global clientele across corporate, government, civic and cultural domains. He is also a faculty member at New York University where he teaches in the Digital Communications and Media Program. Much of his professional and academic work centers around emerging technologies and the way they affect human experience.

Credits

Executive Producers
Illya Szilak
T-Mo Bauer

Associate Producers
Christopher E. Vroom
Dr. Yael Halaas

Producer
Kathleen Fox

Director of Photography
Cory Allen

Assistant Camera
Tony Bartalini

360 Video
Richard Hammer

Sound Mixer
Laura Cunningham

Choreographer
Dawn Saito

Post-Producer
Anu Nagaraj

Depthkit Operator
Supreet Mahanti

Depthkit Post Production
Jillian Morrow

Depthkit Consultants
Kyle Kukshtel
Alexander Porter

3D Artist
Pat Goodwin

Unity Lighting Design
Pat Goodwin
Dale Henry

Interactive Development
Chronosapien Interactive

Color & Finish
theColourSpace

Colorist & Finishing Artist
Juan Salvo

VFX Compositor
Uroš Perišić

Post production sound services provided by Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm Ltd. Company, Marin County, California

Sound Designer
Jeremy Bowker

Sound Lead
Kevin Bolen

Dialog Editors
Elizabeth Marston
Danielle Dupre

VR Audio Intern
Jonathan Do

Set Designers
Nate Frieswyk
D. Schuyler Burks
(The Dad Shop)

Haptics Design
Allen Yee

Graphic Design
Willy Wong

Spanish Subtitles
Erika Sierra
Alvaro Sierra, Jr.

Special Thanks
Zeina Abi Assy, Opeyemi Olukemi, Tom Krueger, Alexander Porter and Kyle Kukshtel, Ebony Peay Ramirez (Oculus Launchpad), Heather Lee MacFarlane and Jacqueline Bosnjak (Q Department), Oscar Raby and Katy Morrison (VRTOV Studio), Alex Colgan and Angela Bermudo (LeapMotion), all of our generous Kickstarter supporters, the people of Missouri.

Flickr photographs
Set 1 — Randy’s Donuts: Constanza Dagardo; LA sky: Mark UNSL; White T-shirt: Jessie Hart

Set 2 — Mali: upyernoz; LA: Matt K.; Hollywood sign: Luca Sartoni; Tent: Martjin Munneke

Set 3 — Abstract: T-Mo Bauer; Amusement park: Russell Davies; Africa clinic: Amy the Nurse; Ende Village: upyernoz; LA pool: Chris Dobbins