The Center for Immersive Media (CIM)

The CIM at University of the Arts is a place where students and faculty can explore the opportunities and implications of what it means for ourselves to be immersed in data, simulations, stories, performances and digital communities.

Set to open in 2019, the 5,600-square-foot facility will be dedicated to exploring the fields of virtual and mixed reality, performance motion-capture and human-computer interaction, through collaboration across the disciplines of the visual and performing arts.

Courses at the Center for Immersive Media

The Center for Immersive Media offers course topics in the areas of emerging and immersive technologies, concepts and applications. These courses often reflect contemporary trends, collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches, and the creative research and practice of faculty, staff, and visiting artists. Course are open to all disciplines.

Spring 2020

Projection, Body and Storytelling
Instructor: Miwa Matreyek, Visiting Assistant Professor
3 credits - Tuesday 1:00-5:30
With a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, this class will explore approaches to storytelling through combining projected moving image with live performance, objects, and space. Students will work collaboratively to create several iterative projects growing in complexity and scale, leading to completed short-form performance pieces to be showcased at the end of the semester. The class will highlight the production process of projects, from equipment, tools, and software, as well as practice the skill sets needed for the exhibition or touring of their work.
Students must have intermediate to advanced experience in their major discipline, and a strong desire to apply those skills in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary environment.
More information and images here: www.semihemisphere.com/cim301

Art Making in VR 
Instructor: Erik VanHorn
3 credits - Wednesday 1:00-5:30
This class explores the range of Digital Content Creation (DCC) tools available to the artist in Virtual Reality. Utilizing current VR headset and interaction systems, we will survey digital sculpting, painting, design and animation apps in the service of personal expression and room-sized virtual art creation.

Spatial Audio Composition
Instructor: JohnPaul Beattie
1.5 credits - Friday afternoon 1:00-3:20
A study of new techniques and technologies for composing immersive, spatial audio and music experiences. Designed to expose the student to new and cutting edge spatialization, including higher-order ambisonics, quadrophonic, surround sound, and binaural/transaural, through hands-on and project based recordings, installations, performance, or virtual environments.


Contact the CIM at cim@uarts.edu

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The CIM is on schedule to open it's facilities in early autumn. The 5,600-square-foot facility will be dedicated to exploring the fields of virtual and mixed reality, performance motion-capture and human-computer interaction. The facilities include:

  • 40' x 40' square, 14' high truss and open floor area, including:
    • optical motion capture system for full body performance capture and location-based VR applications
    • multiple video projectors
    • lighting instruments with adjustable zoom and color
    • four channel audio system
    • station with control surfaces for all of the above
    • blackout curtains surrounding the truss
  • 16 station computing classroom with PCs optimized for real time computer graphics rendering.
  • Two large project rooms with ceiling grids for development of installations and virtual environments.

Production equipment in the facilities will expand as the center takes shape, but currently includes:

  • Multiple VR Head Mount Display systems (Vive Pro, Oculus Rift S, Quest, Go).
  • Additional trackers for Vive Pro.
  • Insta360 Camera capable of 360 degree VR video, stereoscopic and live streaming capabilities.
  • Multiple short-throw video projectors.
Contact the CIM at cim@uarts.edu

 


 

Mission Statement       Advisory Committee      About the Director
 

Mission Statement

The mission of the center is to connect, engage and be a catalyst for creativity with

  • faculty, through creative research, collaboration, teaching and grant partnerships.
  • students, through learning, team projects and production internship experience.
  • the professional community, through collaboration, projects and grant partnerships.
  • research and development, through continuous adoption of, and training on, new technologies.

Immersive media not only refers to current trends in consumer-based virtual reality headsets and the history of immersive installations, but is also descriptive of our increasingly mediated society and lifestyles in entertainment, social interaction and professions. Designing for media experiences and consumption must accommodate increasingly mobile, integrated and networked systems. 

The center is a place to explore opportunities and implications of what it means for ourselves to be immersed in data, simulations, stories, performances and digital communities. 

Technologies that become more integrated with our senses, our bodies and identity must be humane, and artists, authors, composers and choreographers have creative and critical sensibilities that can anticipate and illuminate meaningful ways of engaging with emerging and future media technologies.

 

Advisory Committee

  • Michael Attie, assistant professor, School of Film 
  • John Paul Beattie, master sound engineer, School of Music
  • Stephen Cirino, senior lecturer, School of Music
  • Curt Haworth, modern dance coordinator and professor, School of Dance
  • Micah Jones, associate professor, School of Music
  • Jung-eun Kim, adjunct associate, School of Dance
  • Neil Kleinman, director, The Corzo Center for the Creative Economy
  • Justin Lujan, assistant professor, School of Theater 
  • Juan Parada, associate professor, Game Art
  • Natalie Robin, assistant professor, School of Theater 
  • Erik VanHorn, program director, Game Art, and associate professor, School of Film
  • Shelton Walker, assistant vice president for special projects

 

About the Director

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Alan Price has been creating work in the area of virtual and immersive environments for over 20 years. He has previously served as associate director of the Imaging Research Center at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and affiliate research faculty and acting director of the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design at The Ohio State University. He was a visiting fellow at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at the University of New South Wales; visiting associate professor at the Centre for Applied Computing and Interactive Media at the City University of Hong Kong; and a visiting associate professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is a recipient of international awards in interactive media including Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria; SIGGRAPH conference Art Gallery exhibitions; and a MUSE Award—which celebrates international achievement in galleries, libraries, archives and museums—for technology in museums.

Alan's creative work includes collaborations with composers, choreographers and other media artists, often in the form of live performances with interactive computer graphics and large-scale immersive installations that combine multiple projections and networked mobile applications for participants to interact with, or contribute to, the works. His applied research includes collaborations and sponsored research projects funded by Honda; the Federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality; the National Science Foundation; the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science; the Baltimore Museum of Art; La Panacée Center for Contemporary Culture in Montpellier, France; and other institutions.

Alan’s background as an animator and filmmaker emphasizes narrative and cinematic structure in his works with immersive and interactive storytelling. His animation and film work has been awarded and exhibited at numerous film festivals including Black Maria, Transmediale, Humboldt, Anima Mundi and Ann Arbor, among others. Utilizing real-time computer graphics technology and a combination of ready-made and custom hardware, Alan creates virtual environments, interactive performances, mobile apps and responsive spaces that  are used to explore alternative forms of personal expression in time-based digital media.

Alan comes to the University of the Arts as founding director of the new Center for Immersive Media, bringing prior experience in the facilities design of other centers with a focus on advanced real-time computer graphics systems, motion capture, alternative display and interaction systems, and the cultivation of a creative community working to advance the use of novel and emerging technology in the visual and performing arts.

Contact the CIM at cim@uarts.edu