Sundance Institute presents New Frontier Story Lab projects - 2020 edition

Pushing the Boundaries of Storytelling and Technology

Six projects and artist teams have been selected for the 2020 Sundance Institute New Frontier Story Lab, which supports independent artists working at the cutting-edge convergence of film, art, media, live performance, and technology.

Reimagined for this year as a digital experience on Sundance Co//ab, the New Frontier Story Lab empowers independent creatives through individual story sessions, conversations about key artistic, design and technology issues, and case study presentations from Creative Advisors and Industry mentors across multiple disciplines. The Lab takes place May 12-19, with weekly sessions continuing through July 28th, under the leadership of Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Founding Director Michelle Satter and Interim Director of New Frontier Labs Ruthie Doyle. More infos.

Past New Frontier Story Lab Fellows include Roger Ross Williams, Josephine Decker, Silas Howard, Tracy Fullerton, Yung Jake, Chris Milk, Hasan Minhaj, Tommy Pallotta, Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Hank Willis Thomas, Jillian Mayer, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Navid and Vassiliki Khonsari, Stephanie Dinkins, A Dandy Punk, and Nicolas Peufaillit.

  • ANCESTORS - Hanna Haaslahti, Steye Hallema : an immersive speculative fiction using computer vision and narrated by our virtual descendant, Ancestors implicates the audience in a complicated technological future kinship.
  • EARTHWORKS - Kordae Jatafa Henry, Jeremy Kamal Hartley : a live performer uses virtual reality, sensors, and real-time data to control a digital avatar: an excavation programmer re-awakens the God of Rare Earth in a ceremony dedicated to the ancestors who once healed the land from centuries of scars.
  • KUSUNDA - Gayatri Parameswaran, Felix Gaedtke: an interactive documentary VR experience, Kusunda explores what it means to lose a language, and what it takes to preserve one.
  • QUANTIFIED SURROGATE - Lauren Lee McCarthy, David Leonard: Quantified Surrogate is a 40-week durational performance and documentary project that explores a reproductive future in which we have increasing control over life through genetic testing, assistive reproductive technologies, and changing notions of family.
  • SEEING IS BELIEVING - Kite, Devin Ronneberg: in an examination of the intersections between international Indigenous communities, extracted materials, and colonial nuclear obsession, Seeing is Believing collaborates with technologies like deepfakes and AI. Fiction can seem as real as fact, probing conflations of belief, truth, and conspiracy with hard evidence.
  • SYMBIOSIS - Marcel van Brakel, Mark Meeuwenoord: on the premise of symbioses, a post-human biotope might be rich and teeming with new artificial or biochemically enhanced life, resources, habitats, bodies, and information sharing in an inclusive way. Somewhere on the ruins of an inhospitable Anthropocene, after climate change has changed the world beyond recognition, Symbiosis is a multi-sensory social VR experience using soft robotic wearables that allow for the embodiment of a speculative post-human and nonhuman reality, symbiotic human-animal or human-technologic relationship.
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