The 2018 MORPHOS Digital Dome Artist-In-Residence, one of the world’s only artist residencies specializing in fulldome, just wrapped up in Fort Collins, Colorado this weekend with an awe-inspiring showcase and celebration of artistic fulldome innovation! MORPHOS, in its fourth year, is a residency developed to assist artists in exploring the medium of immersive domed digital video projection-mapped environments. MORPHOS is a project of Denver Arts and Technology Advancement (DATA), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowerment through creative technology, and was originally conceived by Ethan Bach, founding director of DATA. For the third year, DATA has collaborated with Fort Collins Museum of Discovery to produce a program that included the artist-in-residence, a week-long series of fulldome workshops, as well as a culminating showcase held at the museum in the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater.
Two artists participated in this year's month-long residency to create original works for the dome, Elise Simard and Huang Wei-Hsuan. While in Fort Collins, both of these artists brought their very different artistic styles and aesthetic to the dome to create some strikingly personal and immersive dome artworks that were received with great praise by the audiences at the showcase.
Elise Simard is an animation director from Montreal, Quebec who specializes in handmade special effects. She has contributed visual signatures for documentary features and animated shorts. In 2012 she directed My Little Underground at the National film Board of Canada, where she often takes part in projects and research. Elise was sponsored by the Santa Fe-based arts collective, Meow Wolf to participate in MORPHOS. Her dome creation, Until the Sun and Moon go, was inspired by live sound recordings she created at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery during her first week in residence. The film stands as a personal reflection of love; it seeks to think of our planet as a child, and to think of our children as little suns. Her film was built with hand drawn textures and animation.
Huang Wei-Hsuan is a full-time projection designer based in Taipei, Taiwan. His work seeks to create conversation between audiovisual and projection, aiming to trigger the imagination of audiences. Wei was sponsored to participate in MORPHOS by Alt Ethos, a Denver creative company specializing in experiential events and interactive exhibits. His piece, Dust, is a project using photogrammetry, a technique to extract three-dimensional data from imagery, as its starting point. Through the use of this technique and his expanded process, Wei’s piece brings the audience into a representation of his childhood home, which no longer exists, to explore the concept of creation and remembrance. In a statement about the piece and his process he says, “The non-real objects of representation that was created became the beginning of a new reality.”
The final showcase also included a curated reel of fulldome shorts from around the world, an innovators session by DomeLab showing off cutting-edge interactivity projects, as well as a live DJ and VJ set by Alt Ethos. If you weren’t able to make it to the shows in Fort Collins, you can view the artist-in-residence pieces in a simulated dome with Youtube 360º below. For more information on MORPHOS connect with DATA on their website or social media and keep an eye out for future MORPHOS programs and other amazing opportunities!