Celebrating LA Women Working in VR and New Media

Femmebit is a curated festival showcasing an all-female roster of LA-based creators cultivating the field of video art and new media.

FEMMEBIT, a showcase of the video art and new media work of LA-based female creators will feature live VR exhibition and a live broadcast via this Friday, 11/18 at Human Resources. While Los Angeles continues to grow as the epicenter of VR creativity, the organizers wanted to highlight women artists with panels, workshops, and discussions, all to cultivate the fertile landscape of VR for women thrive. Throughout the three day festival, there will be an artist pop-up shop, where a percentage of proceeds directly benefit Planned Parenthood. This show is “especially timely” taking place on the heels of the election of Donald Trump for president, said organizer Kate Parsons.

The event opens Friday with works by Kristel Brinshot (aka Kriz Tonian), Kate Parsons, and Yo-Yo Lin using the room-scale HTC Vive VR system.

Lin’s piece called Ricerca, which means “search” in Italian began as a five screen installation exploring themes around travel as a means to explore memory and worlds influenced by a belief in incarnation. Lin ported the piece into VR with the intent to see how her artwork could exist in the virtual space. Instead of being in a room with other gallery patrons, one goes on their own meditative journey in solitude. The piece is 12 minutes long but it is looped and the narrative is structured to have no clear beginning or end, drawing from the director’s Buddhist beliefs of reincarnation and flow of karmic energy.

Kate Parson's 3VR piece.

Kate Parsons’ 3VR piece.

Parsons’ piece 3VR, which you may remember from VRScout’s Art show earlier this year, explores the many layers of how ephemeral life can be. Central to her work are the objects given at the grave and how people deal with death. Her subject matter is layers and parts of footage projected on images of discarded cemetery flowers and layered with analog glitches.  The piece captures moody textures, streaks and flashes of colors of various depths.

Lastly, Brinshot, one half of the experimental director duo of The Great Nordic Sword Fights shares a piece that was featured at a pop up restaurant called Monkeytown. Characteristic of their style, it is a playful environment where the viewer is encouraged to sit and absorb the environment as shapes vibrate, bounce, pop, and boing around you.

FEMMEBIT takes place at Human Resources LA (HRLA) in Chinatown, a 4,000 square-foot building in the former Kung-Fu movie theater.

Other luminaries who will be present include Rebecca Allen, an early pioneer of computer animation. Allen was the creative genius behind the 1986’s “Musique Non Stop,” one of the earliest examples of rendered 3-D graphics in a music video for German electronic music band Kraftwerk. Allen will join a panel held on Saturday along with Candace Reckinger (Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts, Director of the Jaunt Cinematic VR Lab) Rebecca Allen (Founding Chair of UCLA Design Media Art, Founding Director of Nokia Research Lab) Casey Kauffmann (Artist and Creator of @UncannySFValley), and Natalie Sun (creative technologist and Founder of Next Art).

Sunday’s panel will include Samantha Culp (co-founder of Paloma Powers) and members of Siegel + Gale to discuss Artists as Brand Strategists.

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About the Scout

San Tong

San tells stories and manages digital and social networking communications. She has worked for advertising agencies including McCann, M80, and RPA on brands like Sony, Xbox, Honda and Acura, creating and cultivating lasting relationships with their social media community. She is the Associate Producer of the documentary Bordering on Treason about Lorna Tychostup, a single mother and News Editor for a magazine in New York who knowingly risks her life, imprisonment, and a million dollar fine by traveling to Iraq under the threat of war. San has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from University of Illinois. She specializes in competitive analysis, emerging media, mobile extensions, and multi-platform integration.

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