EyeMyth 2017 Day One: The promise of a fantastic future for art and technology
We often talk about the intersection of technology and art, the theoretical conjuncture where the two roads meet but to truly understand it, you must be at a place like EyeMyth, a media arts festival that displays the best India has to offer in the medium.

Day one of the 2017 edition of the festival kicked things off with a Virtual Reality Workshop conducted by Tom Millen and Mark Atkin from Crossover Labs based out of UK. Crossover is an international training organisation and production company dedicated to developing the production of cross media content and exploring the creative and commercial challenges of developing digital media.

The workshop began with a broad overview of the state of VR, discussing the good and the bad of the technology along with the many exciting opportunities it presents. The participants were given individual briefs, based on which they were segmented into teams.

The participants themselves were as diverse as the topics they chose. There were 27 in total, ranging from storytellers, artists, musicians, developers, 3d modellers and UX designers. The motifs on hand included diverse themes such as Antimicrobial resistance, Indian Cultural Heritage, Pollution, UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Free Web and Indian Folk Tales.

Things then segued into the second act of the day, an exciting foray into the world of Augmented Street Art. Conducted by Akshat Nauriyal, co-founder of the Street Art Foundation and Avinash Kumar, co-founder of Quicksand and one of the brains behind EyeMyth.

The AR Street Art Crew kicked things off by taking the forty participants including industry professionals and ISDI students on an expedition to the future of augmented public art via presentations from Akshat Nauriyal and Avinash Kumar on the potential of the overlap of AR and Street Art.

Akshat demonstrated how street art has transcended mediums through time as it has evolved beyond the mural through the integration of crafts such as crochet by showcasing artists like Olek, to the use of technologies like AR to extend the physical canvas and escape real-world constraints like gravity as can be found in the work of Ram Devnani and others.

Avinash, on the other hand, shared examples of AR being used in surprising contexts from installation art to commercial applications, while also dwelling on unique mediums such as lo-fi, stop motion and photo collages, encouraging participants to look at cities from a unique perspective.

The day was broken down into multiple phases from ideation to feedback and further inspiration sessions. The objective was to reach consensus within the groups on what the narratives behind their experiences should be about. The narratives were once again diverse ranging from climate change, Public space awareness and Mythology.

Of course, when talking VR and AR, you are going to need beefy systems that help leverage your vision and EyeMyth partnered with Dell for their hardware needs who hooked the team up with the CES 2017 innovation honoree’s, Alienware 15 and 17 laptops. Alienware, Dell’s premier high-performance PC gaming brand, offers unique and award-winning computers that incorporate innovative engineering and are designed with state-of-the-art components. The EyeMyth team leveraged technologies like the TOBII Eye Tracker to help participants bring their vision to life.

Over the next couple of days, the team over at EyeMyth will be providing technical support to the aspiring creators through prototyping with help from a team of dynamic coders to help bring their ideas to life.