We are in Touch. Atomic Vacation moves to Oculus Rift Touch development

Yesterday, I got to play at Cloudred Studio in Shizuku’s, (the little robot girl from the future) playroom. Robots girls play with toys, but they also with history, and maybe, also with the memory of their beloved humans. You have never played a game like this before. Mind blown. Rescripting to use procedural physics as structuring tool for narrative. You can move blocks of philosophical text, kill rate numbers from Hiroshima, and computer-human hybrid poems around like strange blocks. We are altering space, creating new spaces, but isn’t that what memory does? #VR #womenintech #gamedev #OculusRift #Touch #EOTWAWKIszilak11

Panel at SXSW 3/13

I will be on a panel at SXSW this March, previewing Atomic Vacation, and talking on queering VR.

“Virtuality and queerness share common conceptual ground. They each destabilize what is natural/taken for granted by emphasizing the performed and experienced rather than what is “objectively real.” This panel will explore this conceptual congruence. The gathered artists and scholars will explore the potential for queer, virtual reality art to foster empathy and broaden perspective in those who experience it. The process of adapting ideas and works to virtual environments, and the technologies that make this work possible, will be detailed and audiences will be introduced to fascinating projects including a queer, virtual memoir and a VR exhibit of drag queens.”

Queerskins Featured in Queertech Exhibitions in Australia



Cyril Tsiboulski and I are excited to be part of these exhibitions. Thanks Alison Bennett, Travis Cox, Xanthe Dobbie & Mark Payne for organizing. You can see the online exhibition here. http://queertech.io/

Midsumma Festival, Melbourne 15 Jan — 05 Feb 2017 QueerTech.io will be shown on the Big Screen at Federation Square throughout January, February, & March, presented by BLINDSIDE. data-projections at Midsumma Horizon at Testing Grounds, 6-11pm Sat 4 Feb

Melt Festival, Brisbane 25 Jan–05 Feb 2017 data-projections on Turbine Walls at Brisbane Powerhouse throughout the festival

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, 17 Feb – 5 Mar 2017 data-projections at Heaps Gay Mardi Gras party at The Factory Theatre 4 March

Depthkit Experiments for Atomic Vacation

Had a great meeting with Alexander Porter at Depthkit. They are really enthusiastic about the project and have granted us beta access and tech support. We will begin experiments with filming Tomi Heady as “Rae”, the neuroscientist charged with teaching Shizuku how to “pass” as human. She appears in “memory rooms”. Here, the user is literally transported from the weird 1950′ s kitchen to Shizuku’s reconstructed/imagined memory of her teacher, the woman around whom she is organizing her thoughts. Is this love? An glitch in her algorithms? The user will have to decide. Depthkit brings a verisimilitude and intimacy to the environment which is overtly artificial. We are fascinated by Noh theater–the modularity of elements–the “codification” of gestures (kata), minimal props and markers of place and  , of course, masks. I took a workshop on Noh at the Japan Society in preparation, Tomi and I also attended a Butoh workshop to prepare for shooting.

Atomic Vacation Manga

We are also really pleased to have identified an amazing dojinshi manga artist to collaborate with us on making manga of Shizuku’s remembered/imagined life on Earth and her relationship with her teacher, Rae.

Karen is an intense and incredibly talented young woman. She drew the whole time I was talking with her. These are some of the initial sketches of Shizuku. Right now our plan is to do traditional black and white drawings with certain details of Shizuku’s dress rainbow colored. Love this. These comics will be viewable in the VR game and will also be for sale at the online souvenir shop at the end of the world.

“Storytelling at the End of the World: Cinema and Narrativity in Virtual Reality”

Just got word that the paper I gave in March at Université Paris 8 : “Storytelling at the End of the World: Cinema and Narrativity in Virtual Reality” has been accepted for publication in Transatlantica American Studies Journal. In it, I discuss work by some awesome female artists including Rachel Rossin, Maria Menken, and Keren Cytter among others. Happy to share it with anyone interested.

Progress Atomic Vacation

VR environment:  we were successful in creating the environment for the VR experience (after negotiations, we were granted a two hour shoot at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, collaborated with a photography graduate student and film lighting person to shoot a 1950’s kitchen installed at the museum, stitched together 200 photos to create a panorama which was then imported into Unity as internal wall paper for a sphere and photo shopped a computer graphic imagery living room onto this space. Although not clearly evident from the walk through video—this environment challenges conventional notions of scale and Cartesian perspective —without making users nauseated. )


  1. Spatial map and script completed based on the completed environment
  2. Initial conversation with female manga artist to create an avatar/manga character of Shizuku and to create a hard copy “serial” comic based on Shizuku’s life on Earth (see script from which artist will work) that will be for “sale” in the souvenir shop.
  3. Purchase and scanning of vintage 3D objects for use in VR environment and for sale in installation/pop-up souvenir shop. 
  4.   App development (cross-platform capable) with Klynt 3 software in progress

This month: Scanning of actress Tomi Heady, who plays “Rae”, completion of dialogue script, and recording of dialogue. We will then begin to animate her using USC’s soft body software. In addition, we have been Skyping with Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshi_Ishiguro director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory University of Osaka to negotiate 3D scanning of one of his lifelike gynoid robots that would be animated via this software and put into a 360 CGI environment in conversation with Tomi  Heady as Rae.