IDFA DocLab R&D projects

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    As part of its R&D Program with MIT, IDFA DocLab annually commissions and supports new works, enables (audience) research, and explores new ways to exhibit and distribute immersive and interactive projects.

    Works included in the IDFA DocLab R&D Program

    1 the Road

    • Ross Goodwin
    • 2018

      Watch for a small fee: “Automatic writing” will never mean the same thing again, now that artificial intelligence has written the book 1 the Road—using a car as its pen.

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      24h Sunset/Sunrise v2

      • 2020

        Two screens show a live sunrise and sunset taking place at the same time somewhere in the world, using images from unsecured surveillance cameras. A live soundscape underscores the beauty that is accidentally captured by surveillance.

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        #Alleman

        • Bert Hana
        • 2013

          Fifty years after Alleman, theater director Bert Hana leads us through the streets of the Netherlands, digitally captured through Google Street View.

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          {The And}

          • Topaz Adizes, Nathan Phillips
          • 2014

            An interactive documentary in which the viewer can navigate through 30 couples discussing the big themes of love and relationships.

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            Algorithmic Perfumery

            • Frederik Duerinck
            • 2018

              Based on the visitor's personal data, an algorithm compiles a unique fragrance that is generated on site.

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              All Kinds of Limbo, XR Broadcast

              • Toby Coffey
              • 2020

                An intimate musical journey using immersive techniques to celebrate live performance, drawing inspiration from the Caribbean influence on British music through genres such as reggae, grime, and calypso.

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                Artificial: Room One

                • 2019

                  A one-on-one performance pairing you with an artificial intelligence for a conversation about what it is to be human, in a genuine attempt to understand the relationship between man and machine. On-site reservation required.

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                  Ayahuasca – The Shamanic Exhibition

                  • 2019

                    This exhibition features different elements to learn about the spiritual ceremony as it’s conducted by Shipibo shamans, with the interactive VR installation Ayahuasca – A Kosmik Journey as centerpiece, giving each individual their own personal immersive experience. 

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                    Barcode.tv

                    • Philippe Archontakis, Pascal Brouard
                    • 2010

                      A cinematic story machine that tells you who you are, based on the material possessions you hold dear.

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                      Bear 71 VR

                      • 2016

                        A seminal piece in the history of interactive documentary, reimagined and re-released as a VR piece for the 10-year anniversary of IDFA DocLab.

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                        Bob

                        • Nele Eeckhout, Siona Houthuys, Mirke Kist
                        • 2017

                          Was Bob really the love of 84-year-old Elisa’s life, or is he the product of a faulty memory?

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                          BotStory: The Futurist Cookbook

                          • Klasien van de Zandschulp, Emilie Baltz
                          • 2017

                            Become a co-writer of The Futurist Cookbook. A chatbot will match you with a mystery chef to write a collaborative futurist recipe.

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                            Brainstream

                            • Caroline Robert
                            • 2021

                              In this interactive animation, you give a stranger a virtual brain massage. This intimate act evokes a stream of emotions and memories, and offers an original glimpse into the workings of the brain.

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                              The Collider: Chapter One

                              • Anagram
                              • 2018

                                Enter The Collider. A machine built to decipher the mysteries of human relationships. On-site reservation required.

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                                The Cycle Club: A 10-Day Hormone Safari

                                • Eefje Suijkerbuijk
                                • 2021

                                  A taboo-breaking, ten-day crash course on the monthly hormone cycle and the biology behind it. In a Telegram “hormone safari,” the hosts dive into this wonderful world, talking to people about their experiences, and including input from gynecologists.

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                                  Common Ground

                                  • Darren Emerson
                                  • 2019

                                    Once Europe’s largest housing project, the Aylesbury Estate in London is being demolished. This interactive portrait explores the consequences of gentrification and offers background facts, using 360-degree video and 3-D environments. On-site reservation required.

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                                    Diagnosia

                                    • Mengtai Zhang, Lemon Guo
                                    • 2021

                                      In China, internet gaming is described as “electronic heroin” and many parents of suspected internet addicts send them to re-education camps. One of them was the director of this VR experience that places you at the center of his haunting experiences.

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                                      Die with Me

                                      • Dries Depoorter
                                      • 2018

                                        A chat room app for smartphone users with less than 5% battery life on their phone, on their way to offline peace. 

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                                        A Dinner with Frankenstein AI

                                        • Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno, Rachel Ginsberg
                                        • 2018

                                          An intimate dinner experience that delves deeply into the tensions between human and machine. 

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                                          Disarmed

                                          • Alexandra Barancová, Jae Perris, Luna Maurer, Roel Wouters
                                          • 2021

                                            An interactive and playful VR experience about the fascinating relationship between our body and games. The visitors’ own arms and hands become part of a virtual sculpture of limbs that’s constantly changing shape.

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                                            Eat | Tech | Kitchen

                                            • Klasien van de Zandschulp, Emilie Baltz
                                            • 2018

                                              A rudimentary chatbot breathes new life into La cucina futurista (Futurist Cooking) (1932) by translating dreams of the future into new recipes and table rituals. On-site reservation required.

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                                              Echoes of Silence

                                              • Tamara Shogaolu
                                              • 2020

                                                Dome projections of starlit skies and animations complement this intense audio experience. A trip into space to explore the ways the emptiness of the universe manifests as sound at various places around the world.

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                                                Eclipse

                                                • Ali Eslami
                                                • 2020

                                                  Alless and Lena can’t see each other—only the trails they leave. But these two radically different entities get to know one another by following and analyzing these traces. A live VR performance that gives a radical new meaning to diversity.

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                                                  Emotional Arcade

                                                  • Brent Hoff, Alexander Reben
                                                  • 2013

                                                    This interactive installation invites you to compete in "emotional competitions" using modified EEG headsets, biometric sensors and carnivalesque props.

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                                                    Exhausting a Crowd

                                                    • Kyle McDonald
                                                    • 2015

                                                      This addictive tableau vivant of a packed Piccadilly Circus allows observers to attach a limitless number of comment “tags” to the people in the crowd.

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                                                      Farewell Tour

                                                      • Vincent Rietveld
                                                      • 2020

                                                        A radical attempt to make a climate-neutral theater play. De Warme Winkel theater collective embarks on an ascetic tour of the Netherlands by bicycle. And of course the thermostat in the auditorium will be set to freezing, so keep your coat on.

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                                                        Goliath: Playing with Reality

                                                        • Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla
                                                        • 2021

                                                          This VR depicts the disorienting experience of schizophrenia, and how Goliath finds his footing in the virtual world of online multiplayer gaming. The voiceover by Tilda Swinton reminds us that every reality is a mental construct.

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                                                          HIGHRISE/Out My Window

                                                          • Katerina Cizek
                                                          • 2010

                                                            Behind identical windows in concrete gray apartment buildings, an array of different lives is lurking. Thirteen 360-degree shots reveal apartments and their residents in 13 cities around the world.

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                                                            I Am Not Home Video

                                                            • Bert Hana
                                                            • 2016

                                                              A virtual experience of forgotten answering machine messages and a very special videotape that director and found footage fanatic Bert Hana picked up in a second-hand store. On-site reservation required.

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                                                              In Event of Moon Disaster

                                                              • Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund
                                                              • 2019

                                                                By inviting you into an alternative history about the moon landing, this immersive installation asks us all to consider how deepfake technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.

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                                                                I’ve Always Been Jealous of Other People’s Families

                                                                • Shirin Anlen
                                                                • 2018

                                                                  This machine learning installation questions the mental state of the intelligent machines we create. On-site reservation required.

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                                                                  The Island of the Colorblind

                                                                  • Sanne De Wilde
                                                                  • 2015

                                                                    Catch a glimpse of a world where flames light up in black and white, trees have turned pink and a rainbow holds a thousand shades of grey.

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                                                                    Lagos at Large

                                                                    • Jumoke Sanwo
                                                                    • 2019

                                                                      A poetic tribute to Nigeria’s largest city, told in short segments as we plot a course through the imaginary and material space of Lagos, made pressing and real in VR. On show in DocLab: Exhibition (free on-site reservation required) and as part of the DocLab VR-Cinema (regular ticket sales).

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                                                                      Lauren

                                                                      • Lauren Lee McCarthy
                                                                      • 2017

                                                                        Lauren McCarthy attempts to win back control from technology by making herself into a human smart home system.

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                                                                        The Leaked Recipes Cookbook

                                                                        • Demetria Glace
                                                                        • 2020

                                                                          Author Demetria Glace presents a series of intimate events based on The Leaked Recipes Cookbook, a cookbook of recipes she fished out from the massive data leaks in recent years.

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                                                                          Leaked Recipes

                                                                          • Gabriela Ivens
                                                                          • 2018

                                                                            Recipes that have been crowdsourced from leaked emails are served up, along with the story of their origin and a discussion about internet privacy. On-site reservation required.

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                                                                            Look Inside

                                                                            • Nadja van der Weide
                                                                            • 2019

                                                                              A hyper-realistic audio tour that lets you roam around someone’s real house. You’re on your own but guided by a voice coming through a pair of headphones, inviting you to look around. Does this adventure make you feel curious or repelled?

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                                                                              Meat Puppet Arcade

                                                                              • Matt Romein, Joseph Mango
                                                                              • 2016

                                                                                The 3-D scanner as a portal to the virtual space. Play with true-to-life replicas of the artist’s body.

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                                                                                Messages to a Post Human Earth

                                                                                • May Abdalla
                                                                                • 2021

                                                                                  An interactive, multi-sensory journey through a beautiful garden. You and your travel partner embark on an evocative audio journey featuring augmented reality (AR) to reimagine your relationship with the natural world. You can only buy a combi-ticket. One ticket is valid for two people.

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                                                                                  Missing Pictures: Birds of Prey

                                                                                  • Clément Deneux
                                                                                  • 2019

                                                                                    Award-winning director Abel Ferrara talks about his never-completed film project from 1980, Birds of Prey. Like the VR user, he is surrounded by that film’s vision of a dystopian New York, where a revolutionary uprising leads to urban warfare.

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                                                                                    Moments of Innovation - When Documentary and Technology Converge

                                                                                    • 2012

                                                                                      Explore some of the recent highlights of digital documentary storytelling, and the many historical moments of innovation that preceeded them. Installation developed with MIT Open Documentary Lab, marking IDFA DocLab's fifth anniversary.

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                                                                                      Motto

                                                                                      • Vincent Morisset
                                                                                      • 2020

                                                                                        An interactive novella intertwining ancient storytelling traditions with the contemporary language of the internet. It’s a story that is told via thousands of ultrashort video fragments made by anonymous users all over the world—including you.

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                                                                                        Nerd_Funk

                                                                                        • Ali Eslami, Mamali Shafahi
                                                                                        • 2019

                                                                                          Through an archive of online media curated by the online persona nerd_funk, this VR experience in two chapters attempts to get a grip on our omnipresent digital culture and its influence on our physical lives. On-site reservation required.

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                                                                                          Orbit Diapason

                                                                                          • Tabita Rezaire
                                                                                          • 2020

                                                                                            Scientific research conducted by NASA, an African cosmology that assumes the existence of extraterrestrial life, and mass bee die-offs heralding the apocalypse: these are the ingredients of a powerful appeal for human introspection and humility.

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                                                                                            Oxygen Debt

                                                                                            • Bart van de Woestijne
                                                                                            • 2020

                                                                                              Hit the gym for a philosophical spinning class that sets your heart racing, led by a tireless fitness instructor. Can you accept that we can never fully control our bodies?

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                                                                                              [Posthuman Wombs]

                                                                                              • Anna Fries, Malu Peeters
                                                                                              • 2021

                                                                                                Why is the stereotypical image of pregnancy a glowingly blissful young woman? Take a trip into this interactive womb and you’ll see a world where the concept of pregnancy goes beyond the cliché, freed from the constraints of gender and age.

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                                                                                                Reflector

                                                                                                • Piotr Winiewicz, Dawid Górny, RNDR
                                                                                                • 2019

                                                                                                  This autonomous AI engine arranges and edits film in continuous real time, opening new doors to new and innovative ways of filmmaking.

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                                                                                                  A Rest Guide for a Tired Nigerian Artist

                                                                                                  • Rahima Gambo
                                                                                                  • 2021

                                                                                                    What happens if we shift the focus from artwork to the people whose work is making art? In a series of illustrated guidebooks, Nigerian artists explain how they find peace in a troubled world.

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                                                                                                    Robots in Residence

                                                                                                    • Brent Hoff, Alexander Reben
                                                                                                    • 2012

                                                                                                      Could robots, besides building cars and bombing people in foreign countries, also make documentaries? Hoping to answer that question, a group of tiny robots is roaming the Expanding Documentary Exhibition space, looking for people to talk to.

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                                                                                                      Rozsypne

                                                                                                      • Nienke Huitenga-Broeren, Lisa Weeda
                                                                                                      • 2019

                                                                                                        When flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukranian war zone in 2014, the remote village of Rozsypne briefly made international news. This poetic roomscale VR experience offers a fragmented window into daily life in this faraway reality. On-site reservation required.

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                                                                                                        Seven Digital Deadly Sins

                                                                                                        • Loc Dao, Pablo Vio, Lindsay Poulton, Jeremy Mendes, Francesca Panetta
                                                                                                        • 2014

                                                                                                          A moral update on the Internet era on the basis of the seven deadly sins, presented as an interactive website with videos, posts and polls.

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                                                                                                          The Social Sorting Experiment

                                                                                                          • Steye Hallema, The Smartphone Orchestra
                                                                                                          • 2018

                                                                                                            Through mindless online swiping and scrolling, we’re all ranked, categorized and profiled. But what happens under the shiny hood of your phone? On-site reservation required.

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                                                                                                            The Space Between Us

                                                                                                            • Benedicte Kurzen, Sanne De Wilde, Tong Wu, Barak Chamo
                                                                                                            • 2019

                                                                                                              An exploration of the often concealed spaces between human and machine, privacy and surveillance, the self and the other, the observer and the observed or our real bodies and digital representations, to be experienced as an interactive installation.

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                                                                                                              A Symphony of Noise VR

                                                                                                              • Michaela Pnacekova
                                                                                                              • 2019

                                                                                                                In this VR experience, every sound is potential music, visualized as waves, shapes and colors. The user adds new sounds to the audio palette and becomes the co-author of an innovative symphony. On-site reservation required.

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                                                                                                                Sylvia

                                                                                                                • Ziv Schneider
                                                                                                                • 2020

                                                                                                                  Sylvia is a virtual influencer, a digitally created Instagram model. But unlike her “colleagues” who are deployed to promote major brands, she doesn’t possess eternal youth. On the contrary: Sylvia is ageing rapidly and will die during IDFA.

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                                                                                                                  Testing Times

                                                                                                                  • Victoria Mapplebeck
                                                                                                                  • 2021

                                                                                                                    A personal but utterly familiar audio experience about the effects of the global pandemic on family life. How did Victoria Mapplebeck and her teenage son get through the pandemic and lockdown, at home and outdoors?

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                                                                                                                    Through the Wardrobe

                                                                                                                    • Rob Eagle
                                                                                                                    • 2019

                                                                                                                      In this augmented reality installation, the topical discussion on gender roles has been translated into an everyday decision: what to wear? In the intimate setting of a bedroom, four people talk frankly about their self-expression and clothing choices.  On-site reservation required.

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                                                                                                                      TM

                                                                                                                      • Alexander Devriendt, Ontroerend Goed
                                                                                                                      • 2021

                                                                                                                        This experience is an interactive, personal experiment that will determine whether you can become a member of the secretive organization TM. A series of questions and assignments push the participant’s moral boundaries.

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                                                                                                                        Street Ghosts

                                                                                                                        • Paolo Cirio
                                                                                                                        • 2013

                                                                                                                          The artist Paolo Cirio prints life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View, and posts them at the exact spot where they were taken.

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                                                                                                                          This American Life

                                                                                                                          • Ira Glass, Chris Wilcha, Adam Beckman
                                                                                                                          • 2009

                                                                                                                            Live in the cinema, Ira Glass presents a one-time showcase of the best of 12 years of his popular radio documentary series.

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                                                                                                                            Welcome to Pine Point

                                                                                                                            • Paul Shoebridge, Michael Simons
                                                                                                                            • 2010

                                                                                                                              A multimedia portrait of the memories of the disappeared Canadian mining settlement of Pine Point, which existed from 1964 to 1988.

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                                                                                                                              W/O/R/K

                                                                                                                              • Anagram, The Smartphone Orchestra
                                                                                                                              • 2017

                                                                                                                                Experience the power of a cog in a beautiful machine in this extraordinary collective experience.

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