TEST/BREAK – new program explores the development of virtual works

Columbia DSL is excited to announce a new monthly prototyping series entitled TEST/BREAK. Each month we’ll focus on a number of projects that are in various stages of development. TEST/BREAK provides a forum for creatives exploring new forms and functions of storytelling. Focus is placed on projects that are pushing at the edges of narrative possibilities with emerging technology (AI, AR, VR, IoT…) as well as web pervasive technologies. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are working to adapt or create virtual work and have interest in experimenting with various types of collaboration and participatory methods of interaction. Each prototyping session is followed by an open conversation between storytellers and participants that pulls back the curtain on creative practice.

To receive updates on TEST/BREAK please either join the DSL’s meetup group or our Prototyping community. Also if you’re experimenting with new forms and functions of storytelling and would be interested in prototyping something at an upcoming TEST/BREAK session you can apply here.

Artists who’ve participated to date

James Scruggs is a writer, performer, producer and arts administrator who creates large scale, topical, multi-media performance pieces, often fully immersive and interactive; usually focused on race, racism, supremacy, and gender politics. He’s received several grants, and awards, including 2- Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund Grants, and a Creative Capital Grant to create performance works staged in NYC. http://www.jamesscruggs.com

Nick Fortugno is recognized around the world as a leading game designer, narrative and story expert as well as an entrepreneur of digital and real-world games. He is Chief Creative Officer of Playmatics and oversees the design and creative vision for the company. A recognized game design leader worldwide, Fortugno is the original designer behind the blockbuster hit Diner Dash and also a co-founder of the Come Out & Play Festival of outdoor games and events.

Ellen Pearlman is a New York based new media artist, writer, critic, curator and educator. In February 2020 she premiered “AIBO”, an emotionally intelligent artificial intelligent brainwave opera at the Estonian Academy of Music as part of her Vertigo STARTS Laureate grant, with another presentation at Vertigo STARTS Days in Paris. A Fulbright World Learning Specialist in Art, Media and New Technology, as well as a Zero1 American Arts Incubator/U.S. State Department grantee, Ellen is Director of ThoughtWorks Arts, a global research innovation lab, and also an Assistant Professor, Senior Researcher at RISEBA University in Riga, Latvia.

Adipat Virdi studied Architecture and practiced Socio-Spatial Analysis before changing career to focus on creative strategy and experience design. Having studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, Adipat has qualifications that include an MBA and MA’s in Design Strategy and Innovation, Advanced Architectural Studies and Screenwriting. Key areas of expertise are in audience engagement strategy, organisational behaviour mechanics, strategic narrative thinking and experience design and measurement to provide innovative and effective solutions to complex problems.