IDFA launches collaboration with MIT Open Doc Lab

    Sunday, November 18 will see the start of a new collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Documentary Lab and IDFA. Together with partners and artists, both parties will conduct fundamental research for 5 years into immersive and interactive media - such as VR and artificial intelligence - using IDFA DocLab as a living laboratory. This collaboration is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science within the framework of its Topsector Creatieve Industrie and Topconsortium Kennis en Innovatie (TKI). William Uricchio of MIT, Jann de Waal of the Topsector Creatieve Industrie team, and Caspar Sonnen of IDFA DocLab will launch the R&D program on Sunday, November 18 at 10:00 am during the Immersive Network Summit in the Brakke Grond.

    IDFA DocLab Immersive Network R&D Program

    Since its inception in 2007, IDFA DocLab has developed into a leading international platform for interactive documentaries and digital stories. Reaching across different mediums, technologies, and disciplines, DocLab has grown into an international breeding ground for talent development, artistic innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

    Following a pilot phase which began in 2015, IDFA will collaborate with its core partner MIT Open Document Lab in the new IDFA DocLab Immersive Network R&D Program. Other research partners include Sound and Vision and Diversion cinema from Paris, with new partners able to join the collaboration for one or more years. The program focuses on a growing international ecosystem of artists, scientists, and industry partners. The R&D program is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, CLICKNL and the Netherlands Film Fund

    Living Lab

    The new R&D program uses the annual IDFA DocLab as a living laboratory for artistic experiments, fundamental research, and public research. New research questions are formulated each year on the basis of the latest developments in interactive and immersive media, together with involved partners and leaders in the field.

    The first year will focus on research into Artificial Intelligence, among other topics. As part of this, various installations and live performances have been developed, such as I've Always Been Jealous of Other People's Families by Shirin Anlen (in collaboration with NFB and Atlas V) and A Dinner with Frankenstein AI by Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno, and Rachel Ginsberg (in collaboration with Columbia University and National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio).

    A second field of research explores the tension between linear and interactive narrative methods in virtual media (VR/AR/XR), including the physical VR installation The Collider: Chapter One by British artist duo Anagram. In collaboration with Sound and Vision, research is also being done into making interactive and digital media future-proof.

    The new IDFA DocLab Immersive Network R&D Program will launch on Sunday, November 18.

    Photo: Joke Schut