Over the course of 13 months, between October 2015 and November 2016, MUTEK has hosted three editions of the VR SALON, mirroring the rapid transformations affecting all aspects of virtual reality creation. Distinguished among the many recent virtual reality events for its professional format, in-depth and up-to-date encounters with the issues, and commitment to practical and artistic engagement, it continues to build on its reputation as an essential destination, creating lasting encounters between local, and international creators and producers.
The VR Salon offers various activities to professionals interested in exploring the medium of Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR), as well as a VR exhibition addressed to the general public.
Developed by MUTEK and Frédéric Guarino of VR Valley Network Montréal, the VR Salon aims to create a platform for exchange and inspiration for VR and MR by :
- bringing together artists, developers, filmmakers and producers to share their experiences;
- open up the small VR and MR ecosystems and build bridges to other creative digital disciplines;
- inspire new projects and engender new collaborations;
- introduce (new) audiences to (new) VR and MR experiences.
VR Salon #3 // November 10+11, 2016
The VR Salon with its specific professional focus has been designed as node to connect various local, Canadian, American and international creators and producers, with institutional players and distributors. The third edition featured a presentation of the Pulse VR study, a pan-Canadian study commissioned by CFCF media that examined the state of the art and industry. SODEC hosted the Grand Nord VR workshop masterclass that brought together creators from the francophonie who already had projects in development, encouraging them to cross their cinematic backgrounds with VR. The RIDM festival similarly took documentary makers on a ride through new formats with a VR/AR hackathon over two days, hoping to bridge disciplines and storytelling techniques. MUTEK and DCM joined for a collaborative closing activity, the VR (Anti) Manifesto, during which a panel of experts questioned the medium of Virtual Reality.
One of the most insightful and valuable components of the VR Salon is the artist and case studies, which unfurl process and personal journeys into the form, while revealing the many challenges and often surprising solutions that arise in mounting a successful project. The VR Salon #3 featured case studies and presentations from Robin McNicholas member of the London design company Marshmallow Laser Feast, the artist Simon Wilkinson as well as the makers of the multimedia project, The Enemy.
VR Salon #2 // May 30+31, 2016
Montréal lived a Virtual Reality Week in May 2016, thanks to our own VR Salon #2, the SAT’s IX Symposium, the Montréal VR Market, and effects MTL. Our city’s brand resonates worldwide in the VR/AR space and Monique Simard, president of SODEC, aptly summarized it during the VR Salon: ”we Canadians are pioneers in VR and AR, let’s maintain this momentum!”. Our 2nd edition’s programming mixed local artists with creators from Toronto, the US and Europe who presented their creative and edgy VR projects. It was a great occasion to take stock of the acceleration of this nascent medium since our 1st edition, just a few short months ago.
The VR Salon #2 has been dedicated not only to Virtual Reality, but also to Augmented Reality (AR) and other forms of Mixed Reality (MR), meaning any environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist. The program focused on creative VR and MR development, applications, and distribution in the arts, cinema, game industry, marketing, journalism and other fields related to the entertainment, media and cultural sectors.
VR Salon #1 // October 1+2, 2015
The first edition of the VR Salon was held during MUTEK_IMG, a forum on current practices in digital creation that took place at the Phi Centre in Montréal from October 1-3, 2015. Developed with Mediabiz International and presented in collaboration with RPM, the event brought together visionary researchers, innovative technologists, multimedia artistic creators and adventurous production and distribution companies to discuss VR as the next platform in experiential technology.
The first edition of the VR Salon included over 30 speakers for 2 days of VR focussed presentations and discussions. In addition to the conference program, a free exhibition was made available on site to participants as well as the general public thanks to our collaboration with the traveling VR showcase Kaleidoscope.
“It was an eye-opening and hugely stimulating event that will, I think, do much to generate and sustain an ongoing intense interest in the accelerating developments in the domain of virtual reality and its presence in Montréal and the province of Québec.” - Jon Husband, Wirearchy