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_Blackout

Blackout is a VR documentary project that offers a window into the thoughts of New York City subway passengers.

2017 Alexander Porter,Hannah Jayanti,James George,Mei-Ling Wong,Yasmin Elayat
EN Visit the project

“Blackout is a virtual reality documentary inviting New Yorkers to share stories in their own voice. Blackout illuminates the moments when our lives intersect in a space where differences are most visible – the subway. It is an ongoing, participatory project gathering real experiences from this political instant.”

Yasmin Elayat, author

In Blackout, the latest VR project by the immersive media studio Scatter, the viewer can fulfill a classic New York fantasy: reading the minds of fellow subway riders. While walking around an out of service L train hurtling through space–at the project’s Tribeca Film Festival premiere the installation was made to resemble an actual subway car–the viewer uses his or her gaze to unlock the stream of consciousness thoughts of a diverse collection of New Yorkers. These thoughts range from mundane musings about what to eat for dinner to the personal stories of undocumented men and women. One woman shares a letter she and her partner wrote for their toddler daughter after President Trump’s election, while other passengers discuss their encounters with racism. While the access to these insights is unique other aspects of the experience will be entirely familiar to most New Yorkers, such as when one person’s reflections are interrupted by a man’s impromptu serenade.

The testimonies were collected from real people who were then scanned using DepthKit, the volumetric toolset developed by Scatter. The project’s creators plan to continue updating Blackout with new interviews, whose subjects will be scanned and edited into the piece. As the project grows and the car becomes more crowded, the viewer will have a greater number of stories to choose from, meaning this is one subway ride potential passengers may want to repeat.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : USA
Year : 2017
Author : Alexander Porter,Hannah Jayanti,James George,Mei-Ling Wong,Yasmin Elayat
Producer : Scatter
Team : Antfood,Bil Thompson,Cory Allen,Cyndee Readdean,Giacomo Francia,Jillian Morrow,Kate Collings,Matt Shilts,Stacey Holman,Zara Hayden
Developers : DepthKit,Kevin Watters,Kyle Kukshtel,Mark Fingerhut,Neil Purvey,Scatter,Tim Scaffidi
Designers : Jillian Morrow,Malcolm Pepin,Nik Hill,Pat Goodwin
Topics : Community Portrait,Discrimination,Identity,Immigration,Islam,New York,otherness,Politics,Race,Refugees,Trump,undocumented
Technologies : DepthKit,HTC Vive
Techniques : DepthKit Volumetric Capture,Documentary Casting,Generative Story Engine,Interactive Room-Scale Virtual Reality
Festivals : Tribeca Storyscapes
Budget Range : $200k
Funders AND Incubators : Cinereach,Jeremiah Joseph,Kickstarter,New Inc,TriBeCa Film Institute
Trailer :

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