Immersive Videos in Igloo Cylinder

Recently TAMK Media and Art students have been able to immerse themselves into their 360 works thanks to the IglooVision Cylinder in the Virtual Lab for Social and Health Care.

The Virtual Lab

The Virtual Lab for Social and Health Care is an innovative co-creation platform for technology companies, service providers and TAMK RDI and multidisciplinary education. The lab is not only a testbed but a new way to connect the university campus and living labs in health and wellbeing. One of the cool things about the space is the IglooVision Cylinder.

IglooVision create immersive environments for any purpose. The idea is taking any digital content and putting it into an immersive space that groups can go inside and view together. While the Virtual Lab’s main purpose focuses on connecting the university and living labs in health and wellbeing, the cylinder makes for an amazing experience for media student to see their 360 video works.

The experience

Students from the autumn Emerging Media minor, and this spring’s Moving Image minor had the chance to see their works in the Cylinder.

As part of the Emerging Media minor, one of the project options was to create media content for the cylinder. Allan Castellanos Sosa collaborated with José Pesu-Inácio to create their project, an animation that teaches and goes through a breathing exercise. Allan was the sound designer, and José the video designer.

Yu-Hsuan Yao also was one of the video artists who collaborated with two music production students for the Emerging Media project. The first video was Revolution” made during the 2020 Moving Image minor, with music by Edgars Zinovjevs. Revolution is about animal rights, because the artist can put another person into their work/world, from this point of view, I decided to put the viewers into a cage for them to experience how it feels.

I am relatively new to this field, and it is hard to edit 360 footage, but 360 video is almost like a dream come true for many artists in my opinion.

Yu-Hsuan Yao

The second video was Guan Luo Yin Seance made for the Advanced Applied Fine Art course. Daniele Gavenaite worked on the music.

Guan Luo Yin is a popular seance ritual of Taoism in Taiwan, some claim they can reach out to the dead or spirits through the trip. Many believe it is merely a hypnosis process. The ritual is performed by Taoist nun/psychics. The participants will be blind folded and follow the instructions given out by the psychic. During the journey, one may start from a road to the bridge, then towards a tower, eventually reaching the other side. The process may require multiple tries until the participants reach what they want to “see” or whom they want to talk to.

“We are very prone to believe everything science tells us, and from time to time, we may forget to ask, to question. Cogito, ergo sum(René Descartes), to me, it is a very essential process we must maintain and proceed.” Guan Luo Yin Seance is an attempt to find the equation between rationality and spirituality. The video was filmed in “Up and Under”, land art by American artist Nancy Holt, located in Nokia, Finland.

This spring Moving Image students were able to explore making 360 videos and had the opportunity to visit the igloo as well. Teini Piibemaa was one of the students whose work 73 Seconds was shown.

I feel that my performance/video project 73 seconds was suitable for a cylinder. When I created this piece, I wanted to give the viewer an option to follow either the female or male character of this work. They can’t follow both simultaneously, since they are moving in opposite directions. The video work ends with a chase which ideally would make the audience also chase the image with their eyes. This makes their experience more physical and builds the tension and anxiety (which was my goal).

73 Seconds by Teini Piibemaa

What is it actually like in the igloo? Teini informs us that it was great! While it was her first time, she did get a little dizzy due to naturally getting motion sickness quite easily. When asked if it is a better way to view immersive artworks than in VR goggles, she responded that:

I think to label it ”better” would depend on the individual viewer. I know that with VR glasses I tend to get anxiety and motion sickness immediately which also makes it harder to recover after removing the glasses, so the cylinder can be a gentler option for people with the same issues. Cylinder also acts as a uniting piece, since you experience this with other people in the room. VR glasses place you into another reality where you don’t see the people who physically share your space.

Teini Piibemaa

Everyone is excited about the possibilities that immersive technologies and 360 video works have to offer. Both Yu-Hsuan and Teini are fascinated with moving image and video art, and Teini hopes that in next semester’s Applied Fine Art minor they can visit the Igloo again! The igloo has inspired students, and opened new viewpoints of what can be done in the moving image field, and we’re excited to see what students make next!

The Cylinder Room featuring students works
Video by Yu-Hsuan Yao/Harjula

Virtual Lab for Social and Health care of TAMK: https://sites.tuni.fi/vlabforhealth/

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