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Falling in love and dying at IDFA Doclab 2015

For 10 days Amsterdam is all about the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). I visited the IDFA DocLab 2015 Expo: Seamless Reality. The mission of IDFA DocLab is to “showcase interactive documentaries and other new digital artforms that succesfully push the boundaries of documentary storytelling in the age of the interface.” Sounds interesting, right? You will find all kinds of digital non-fiction experiences, ranging from interactive stories and data art to multimedia journalism, immersive installations and virtual reality projects.

My favourite projects at IDFA Doclab 2015:

1. LoVR

LoVR is a four-minute virtual reality experience about the staggering moment that you fall in love. Creator Aaron Bradbury not only wants to show us what the brain does when it’s in love, but he also wants us to feel it. I followed the abstract visualization (as seen in the image above), with the music raising my heartbeat and the magnifying images opening my eyes. I thought this would never work, but I have to say it really made me feel as if I was falling in love! LoVR made me think of something John Green wrote: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once.”

Interested in storytelling and VR? Read my blog post: Why storytelling and VR are a great match.

2. Cue China

In this installation you and another person sit across each other with transparent glass in between. A Chinese man who was poisoned while manufacturing Apple screens contacts you through your shiny screen. Because the video is shown as a reflection on the glass, the face of the Chinese man merges with the face of the person sitting opposite. It’s an impressive way to show this sad story.

3. Famous Deaths

Ever wanted to know what it feels like to be inside a mortuary cabinet? At IDFA Doclab you have the opportunity to be shoved into one of these things for four minutes. In complete darkness, you’ll hear and smell what John F. Kennedy or Gaddafi experienced right before their death. Kind of freaky.

Famous Deaths Experience at IDFA Doclab 2015
A visitor experiences what it’s like to be laid out at the morgue.

I’ve been wandering around the expo for a few hours, watching, playing and experiencing a lot of different projects. I can really recommend you to go and check it out. You can visit IDFA Doclab 2015 at de Brakke Grond until sunday. Oh, and it’s free!

In 2016 I visited IDFA Doclab again. You can read about in my blogpost: From naked artist to naked truth.

brakke grondcue chinade brakke gronddigital artdoclabdocumentaryfamous deathsidfaidfa doclabinteractiveinteractive storieslovrlovr vrmultimediaseamless realitystorytellingvirtual reality

Didi Koller • November 26, 2015

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