Our goal with a site specific installation is to create a space for the visitors’ imagination and memory to operate.
In its own way, each environment subverts notions of “home” and the “ordinary” by making the familiar strange and by creating opportunities for visitors to read into, remember and memorialize their own narratives of love and loss, as they uncover and reconstruct the Adler family story.
Meticulously researched and curated, the objects in these installations are historically accurate or archival of-the-time everyday objects which relate to the virtual reality experience.
In this small space, we created a slightly surreal domestic interior in which Sebastian’s and Mary-Helen’s possessions intermingle.
Lighting the space with only a second-hand lamp on the floor, we imbue the space with a sense of intimacy and secrecy. Here, a standing mirror reflects the image of the visitor seated in an old wicker chair as he experiences virtual reality. Large scale images of participants placed on the walls both reference and subvert the tradition of family photos.
For this installation in a photography studio, we projected videos commissioned for the online narrative onto the massive curved white walls. These videos, created with a Flip video camera, bring the movements of the filmmaker’s body into the work.
The unseen presence of the living body animates the videos, adding life to a static, blank space. Illuminated only by the light from the video and the pink neon sign, visitors can explore a small collection of objects that seem to have been the contents of a nearby suitcase. Here, visitors sit in old vintage chairs placed at the edge of the space.
Queerskins was on view at the 2018 LA Film Festival. A dining room table displays a hodgepodge of forgotten items: stacks of Harlequin romance novels, glass coffee cups from McDonald’s, old high school sports trophies. On a standing mirror hangs Mary-Helen’s floral dress which she wears in the VR experience as well as a 1970’s Hulk plastic Halloween mask which visitors recognize as from the box of belongings they find next to the themselves in the VR experience.
Queerskins was on view at SIGGRAPH—the annual conference on computer graphics held in Vancouver, Canada.
The Queerskins presentation at SIGGRAPH featured a large projection of the live in-headset experience. We focused on all the incredible tech that went into creating this interactive VR film. Depthkit powered volumetric video capture, photogrammetry techniques used to model the interior of the vintage 1986 Cadillac, 360 video, spatial audio and 3D scanned archival objects all coming together to tell a story of the two parents coming to terms with the loss of their son.
For the first time, The Toronto International Film Festival partnered with the Inside Out LGBTQ Film Festival to present the work as we have always wanted—as a solo exhibition that allows for visitors to take the time to explore and contemplate complex ideas and to immerse themselves in the story-world. The exhibition included the VR work; a site-specific interactive, historically accurate installation which acted as a 3D story in which you are both co-author and reader, and photographs by Tagger Yancey of participants at The Tribeca Film Festival posing with objects from the installation that resonate with their personal stories of love and loss.
Photos by Tagger Yancey IV
The virtual reality experience premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018 was anchored in a physical, interactive, immersive installation in which we recreated a domestic space—Sebastian’s childhood home—populated with historically accurate, crowd-sourced, and curated objects. We encouraged visitors to explore this space before or after experiencing virtual reality.
Photos by Julienne Schaer