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Sundance announced today the lineup for their annual New Frontier program, taking place Friday, January 20 through Saturday, January 28 as part of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  This year’s lineup features installations from multimedia artists such as Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then director Brent Green, 0100101110101101.org creators Eva & Franco Mattes, and indie gaming company Molleindustria.

Now in its sixth year, New Frontier provides a venue for innovative media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia experiences, and panel discussions.  For the first time, the program will be taking place simultaneously at two locations: The Yard (1251 Kearns Blvd.) in Park City and the Salt Lake Art Center (20 South West Temple).  It’s free and open to the public, so if you’re in the area this January (as I suspect many of you will be), check it out.

The full lineup:


Bear 71
Artists: Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison (Canada)
Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison’s poignant interactive documentary about a bear in the Canadian Rockies illuminates the way humans engage with wildlife in the age of networks, satellites and digital surveillance. Audiences from around the world can use their smartphones to roam an interactive forest environment rich with bears, cougars, sheep, deer and people as they follow an emotional story of a grizzly bear tagged and monitored by Banff National Park rangers. http://bear71.nfb.ca

The Cloud of Unknowing
Artist: Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore)
The boundary between viewer and art dissolves altogether in Ho Tzu Nyen’s sublime work, The Cloud of Unknowing. Step inside and find a comfortable space in the room. A narrative unfolds on a screen, a story set in a public housing complex in Singapore, where eight characters in eight apartments individually encounter a cloud, embodied both as a figure and a vaporous mist. The film is rear-projected on a screen with a complex soundtrack and synchronized steam machines to create a seamless and sublimely atmospheric sense of film/audience permeability.

Evolution (Megaplex)
Artist: Marco Brambilla (U.S.A.)
In this magnificent, large-scale, stereoscopic, 3-D video collage, media artist Marco Brambilla unscrolls a mural depicting the history of humankind. Brambilla illustrates sweeping movements of world conflict by seamlessly remixing hundreds of individual channels of looped video gathered from Hollywood’s blockbuster films. Evolution (Megaplex) whimsically reframes humanity’s great moments while casting a satirical look at the bombast of the big-budget “epic.”

Hunger in Los Angeles
Artist: Nonny de la Peña (U.S.A.)
Former Newsweek correspondent Nonny de la Peña is developing a groundbreaking brand of journalism that offers a fully immersive experience into news reporting. Focused on calling attention to the growing issue of hunger in the United States, Hunger in Los Angeles recreates an eyewitness account of a crisis on a food-bank line at the First Unitarian Church. De la Peña uses game-development tools, Unity 3-D, a body-tracking system and a head-mounted goggle display, along with live audio she collected during the incident, to construct a fully immersive, simulated world where audiences can suit up, walk around and interact with other characters in the scene.

My Generation
Artists: Eva & Franco Mattes a.k.a. 0100101110101101.ORG (U.S.A., Italy)
Hilarious and embarrassingly relevant, My Generation recreates the epic biomechanical failure that players experience when technology breaks down during a computer game and their expectations of gratification are frustrated. An annihilated computer is strewn across the floor but still burns brightly with clips of young people freaking out because technical problems prevent them from playing their favorite computer games. My Generation is a revealing reminder of how much human beings have come to depend on the media technology that surrounds them.

Question Bridge: Black Males
Artists: Hank Willis Thomas & Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayete Ross Smith & Kamal Sinclair (U.S.A.)
Dissolving the distinction between subject, audience and author, this visionary transmedia project uses new media technology to create a uniquely vulnerable and intimate dialogue among black men nationwide, initiating a new kind of social network. In Question Bridge: Black Males, black men ask questions that are answered by other men who may live thousands of miles away. The footage of these questions and answers are evocatively presented in various ways, ranging from beautiful sculptural huddles that audiences can enter, to Web forums and geolocative hotspots across the country. www.questionbridge.com

Radical Games Against the Tyranny of Entertainment
Artist: Molleindustria (U.S.A.)
Molleindustria’s splendidly subversive indie games exploit players’ urge to win to provoke a complicated, adrenaline-infused empathy with shameless, profit-mongering protagonists. Spread throughout the lounges of New Frontier, Molleindustria’s Radical Games Against the Tyranny of Entertainment take on Big Oil, fast food, cell phones, the military and the economy of free ideas.

To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given
Artist: Brent Green (U.S.A.)
Animator/artist Brent Green breathes three-dimensional life into his signature nervously sweet, line-drawn animation style in his multiplane media sculpture, To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given. Plug your body into this magical sleighlike structure and enter a story land where a woman sews a spacesuit for a Russian dog astronaut and working-class people search for the meaning of their lives as they ride the tidal waves of technological invention. Their survival may lie in their ability to question forces much larger and more powerful than themselves.


Artist: Paul Abacus / Early Morning Opera / Lars Jan (U.S.A.)
Riding the wave of TED talk fanaticism and armed with the latest wizardry in data visualization, the visionary/prophet/madman/cult icon Paul Abacus comes to Sundance to preach visions of a world without national borders. Culminating in three performances at New Frontier, ABACUS delivers a master class in persuasion for the Screen Age that promises to usher civilization into a new era.

Himalaya Song
Artists: Gingger Shankar, Mridu Chandra & The Shanghai Restoration Project (U.S.A.)
Himalaya Song is a musically infused cinematic performance that explores the majestic mountain range and its interconnecting cultures as the region undergoes major environmental and ecological change. Featuring musical performances by musicians Gingger Shankar (vocals/double violin) and Dave Liang (piano/electronics) and live narration by filmmaker Mridu Chandra, this live multimedia presentation combines modern sounds and ancient instruments with a cinematic journey through the Himalayan past and present, exploring folktales, mythological narratives, contemporary ways of survival and tomorrow’s inevitable changes in the great melting glaciers.

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