creative technology for public benefit

There’s nothing virtual about the reality fearless360° is pushing into the world



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“Traditionally in Seattle the tech here is extraordinary, the art here is extraordinary. The tech and art together, not so much. Our hope isn’t so much to create a platform for us as artists, but to create an ecosystem,” Cioffi says. “We’re intending to catalyze a different level of art driving tech in Seattle. Not the other way around.” REALITY BLOOMS IN THE CREATIVE EXCHANGE LAB, Amanda Manitach


"During the Be Another Lab’s residency, fearless360° also took the Machine to Be Another around Seattle, sharing body swaps and embodied narratives with UW’s CoMotion Lab, The Grocery experimental arts space, Seattle Public Library and the Yesler Terrace artist residency. “We got out into the community and talked about the potential of the project,” says Cioffi. “What are the oral histories all around this city?” she asks. “How might they benefit from the embodied narrative concept?” CAN VIRTUAL REALITY TRANSFORM YOUR REALITY, Brangien Davis


For this reason, Cioffi, de la Peña, and other VR designers have realized the necessity of providing interactive capabilities in virtual experiences. At the very least, de la Peña has suggested, after exiting a simulation, viewers should be given information about how to assist in a crisis they’ve witnessed, a sort of post facto interaction. Even better, they might be given the ability to act or make choices within the simulation. Best of all, they might communicate in real time with others in virtual space. Unlike the photography or television of Sontag’s era, VR allows the deconstruction of the one-way observer model. Throughout his book, Lanier argues that VR’s most important implementation is in shared, social experience—not transporting “us” into “their” reality, but co-constructing a new consensus reality in virtual space. Embodied experience, says Cioffi, should “not just be about how I have more empathy for you. And it’s not just about how I better understand me. It’s that I genuinely believe there’s a we." TRAUMA MACHINE, Rewiring empathy with virtual reality, Elvia Wilk


"Not first-person shooter. First-person empathy. First-person builder. First-person imagination. When you receive a tool to get a do-over, to reduce your brutality, you bend it toward peace." A QUEER SENSIBILITY RADICALLY CHANGES VIRTUAL REALITY


“Whether we like it or not, we are a laboratory,” she said. “What kind of laboratory do we want to be? I say, let’s be the Silicon Rainforest, where we develop VR for human good” - Sandy Cioffi, TEDx Seattle  HOW ARTISTS ADD HUMANITY TO VIRTUAL REALITY

Seattle Weekly

“Let’s face it, most uses of virtual reality in literature and film have been highly dystopic,” Cioffi says. “What matters isn’t the technology, it’s the thinking. It’s the notion that you are talking about artists, makers, thinkers, working in communication and building methods that are about placing you elsewhere. I really believe in my lifetime that it will be decided whether the fundamental driver behind these experiences will be humans or algorithms—so I know what I’d like to work towards.”  SEATTLE'S VIRTUAL ROAD TO TRANSCENDENCE, Kelton Sears


This summer, a group of Seattle youth participated in a pilot program of a new Media Arts Skills Center to produce content about civic issues that matter most to them. Their student showcase, entitled WE/ME: The Future of Our City, attracted community members, mayoral candidates, and city officials alike. These students told Spark Public what they hope for Seattle's future.  WE/ME: What do Seattle Youth want for the Future of Our City? 


TWIST360º: "I’ve considered a kinder view of myself since my experience with the Machine—like an introduction to a new way of thinking, a reintroduction to me. Something about seeing yourself from outside your own bubble allows you pierce it, and peer deeper inside, as if you’ve gained second sight. I even had my own brainstorm: The beauty of the Machine to Be Another isn’t just the ability to be an other for a few minutes, but to become another. To evolve into a new you."  TINY BUBBLES, Brangien Davis





Another challenge, according to the testimony: there is no central clearinghouse for providing VR stories to headset owners. “There is no NBC of VR yet. There is no Netflix of VR yet,” said Sandy Cioffi, executive director of Mad Eye Media and fearless360.   NEW POLITICAL REALITY? WHY THESE LAWMAKERS DONNED VR HEADSETS IN A COMMITTEE HEARING, John Stang


"For most people, terms like "late capitalism" lead to a blank wall in the mind: These words mean nothing at all and cannot be applied to daily life. This is not the case with Cioffi. In her mind, the words bring into distinction the manner and mode of, say, our education system: how it operates, who it privileges, who it excludes."  SANDY CIOFFI, NOMINEE FOR A STRANGER GENIUS AWARD IN FILM, Charles Mudede


TWIST360º: "The Machine To Be Another is a use of Virtual Reality that gives you the sensation of walking in someone's else's shoes." THE MACHINE TO BE ANOTHER: EMPATHY & VIRTUAL BODY-SWAPPING  


SIFFX: "You have to see this as an inquiry. Four days of asking ourselves if VR matters. Is this just good for entertainment? Or is it a potential doomsday device? People seem to have a pretty visceral reaction when they experience it. And by it, we mean X. The unknown. We are trying to solve for X, the radical unknown. And it will be a terrific opportunity for the community to experience aspects of this X.” EMPATHY DEVICE, Jonathan Zwickel


SIFFX: "The Seattle International Film Society earlier this month presented a four-day SIFFX festival showcasing VR and 360-degree immersion with screenings, exhibitions and panel discussions. It explored uses including virtual interfaces for fighter jets, gaming technology and immersive journalism, such as what is being employed by USA Today and the New York Times. It examined the future of cinema and “linear storytelling” and asked if VR “can make us more human.”" VIRTUAL REALITY CHANGING HOW WE VIEW FILM, Bruce Fessier


SIFFX: “It isn’t just about information and technology, this is ultimately a new medium; we need not only technologists, but creatives,” said Joe Chen, who will speak at SIFFX on June 3. “It takes some pretty bold artisan pioneers and technology working together to explore what VR is capable of.” CRAFT YOUR WORLD AROUND YOU, Kate Clark


SIFFX: "There has been over the years a terrific intersection of creative technology, activism, and art. The best representative of this direction is Nonny de la Peña. She is the keynote speaker of SIFFX. Peña has been using gaming technology for close to six years. She rigs it so that you can be placed inside the world that feels like the game world... It's like being in a first-person shooter game. But instead of first-person shooter, her thing has been to make you a first-person witness, a first-person empathizer." SIFFX Dares Seattle to Get Real About Virtual Reality Right Now, Charles Mudede

Seattle refined | komo

SIFFX: "We stopped by with host Gaard Swanson who strapped on a headset and earphones and was instantly transported to a street in Aleppo, Syria where he experienced a bomb going off. Next he found himself around a campfire with children in a refugee camp. Project Syria is the brain child of Nonny de la Peña, known as the godmother of VR and it's just one of the many incredible experiences waiting for you at the festival." SIFFX--THE VIRTUAL REALITY FESTIVAL WITHIN SIFF Virtual Reality Festival within SIFF