IDFA DocLab R&D projects

    • set 40 items

    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.


    • 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.

    {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.

    Algorithmic Perfumery

    • Frederik Duerinck
    • 2018

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

    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.

    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.

    • Philippe Archontakis, Pascal Brouard
    • 2010

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

    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.


    • 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?

    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.

    The Collider: Chapter One

    • Anagram
    • 2018

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

    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.

    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. 

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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).


    • Lauren Lee McCarthy
    • 2017

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

    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.

    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?

    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.

    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.


    • 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.


    • 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.

    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.


    • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.


    • Anagram, The Smartphone Orchestra
    • 2017

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

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