December 2020

Impact of the Shared Experience: Immense Displays and Immersive Environments

Since The Arrival of a Train in the early motion picture projection, humankind has been in love with the power media has to act as a window between worlds the likes of which is limited only by the imagination. As technology evolves, so does this level of immersion and its authenticity. We have reached a point where media users are making a heroic leap off a plank 80 stories up – only crash head-first into their TVs. This is a moment all too real for the user, but cringe-worthy to on lookers.

Despite the many ways that VR and AR are connecting people around the world, the fact remains that this dream-like experience is reserved for one, only to be observed by others. While traditional head-mounted hardware is still developing, what does it look like to affectively share experiential media in social spaces while still achieving that deep sense of immersion?


Dr. Aleksandra Dulic | UBC Okanagan Department of Creative Studies, Associate Professor & Jacen Dennis | UBC Okanagan, MFA Graduate Student

Presentation: Advanced Media Class at the Sawchuck Family Theatre – Teaching and Learning Media Art through the Public Video Wall

In this presentation we will show and discuss media artwork designed by Advanced Media students for the UBCO Sawchuk Family Theatre. We will reflect on how the research, development, and production of artwork for UBCO Public Video Wall affected students learning and work and how it enhanced class learning outcomes.

Aleksandra is an artist-scholar with expertise in interactive art, climate change communication, and media for social change. She is the Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCT) and leads an interdisciplinary research team that engages multiple forms of art, media and information technologies as vehicles for the expression of community, culture, and identity and as a device for sustainability awareness grounded in local ecology.

Jacen is a new media artist, focusing on digital animation and installation art. His MFA studies explores the topics of transgender identity and familial grief. Jacen, outside of his own art practice, was the lead animator on the live multi-media performance Music of the Heavens and the upcoming exhibition project Celestial Bodies.

Garth Evans | UBC Okanagan, Audio Visual and Emerging Technologies Specialist

A discussion about the design and implementation of a large-scale Audio-Visual system, built specifically for the visualization of scientific simulation, collaboration and XR work. In 2017 UBC Okanagan performed a round of consultation across the university, canvassing stakeholders to create a plan to meet the need for advanced visualization facilities at the campus. Join Garth Evans from UBC Okanagan and hear about the journey to build a concept-driven, donor-funded, immense and immersive display.

Garth trained formally upon classic Steenbeck flatbed film editing machines before being swept into the non-linear editing, digital desktop revolution of the 90’s. During this time of great innovation, he worked on many feature film and TV series in VFX and on-set video support. He’s maintained that focus around emergent tech through his 10-year tenure in higher education as a collaborations technologies specialist for UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. In recent years Garth has taken a keen interest in computationally derived media and supports researchers at UBC Okanagan in their use of emerging technologies.

Chris Scharver | Mechdyne, Senior Software Solutions Architect
Presentation: Authoring VR Experiences with Game Engines

As an architect for visualization technologies in the software division, Chris represents Mechdyne clients in development efforts to ensure solutions solve client challenges. Through careful coordination with the sales, solutions, marketing, and engineering teams, Chris investigates potential opportunities and directs platform development.

Chris joined VRCO, a Mechdyne subsidiary, as an intern in 2001. Since joining Mechdyne full time in 2007, Chris has dedicated himself to creating effective, usable, interesting, and engaging user experiences. Chris has nearly 20 years in virtual reality systems, giving him a strong familiarity with complex visualization systems. He has intimate knowledge of Mechdyne’s software products, including trackd, CAVELib, vGeo, Conduit, and getReal3D for Unity.