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General | Media Release

Media Release: A German-Canadian Exchange about journalism and the newest immersive technologies

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With the exchange project, VR:RV, journalism and the newest immersive technologies come together to reimagine our interaction with digital society. Media Release (02/27/2018) Montreal, QC - This initiative offers professional virtual reality (VR) creators, artists, thinkers and journalists from Canada and Germany the opportunity to exchange knowledge, collaborate on new works, and share their critical explorations with the public. A series of three meetings are organized over the course of 7 months for selected German and Canadian participants, comprising of internal workshop sessions and public panels. The first meeting will be in Montreal at MUTEK_IMG (April 11 - 13), followed by a meeting in Berlin in May at re:publica, Europe's most important conference on digital culture, with a final stop in Montreal in November at Doc Circuit Montréalduring les Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal. A project by the Goethe-Institut, realized with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the aim of VR:RV is to foster self-reflective works in virtual reality which explore the creative frontiers of the medium.

Highlighting creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and vision, the Canadian VR scene has risen to international attention over the last five years - producing some of the most celebrated VR pieces and talents. Equally as prolific, but less well-known abroad, the German VR scene has also been expanding and exploring VR as a new medium, with application in a variety of fields including science, medicine and journalism.

This exchange aims to invigorate the scenes in both countries by creating the ideal setting for networking, collaboration and co-production, while also rethinking the language and modes by which we engage both with VR and with the wider digital world. VR:RV intends to provoke conversations, and ultimately VR works, that challenge, expose, critique and problematize the digital society through issues such as artificial intelligence, algorithms, digital privacy, digital democracy and the future of the internet.


Part I: Workshop and Public Panels and Presentations at MUTEK_IMG, Montreal, April 9 - 13, 2018

20-24 invited creatives from both countries will work together in a workshop setting to discuss and ideate VR works. Leading journalists and thinkers will contribute research and/or data sets as provocations to teams of renowned VR creators, artists, and cutting edge technologists. The teams will work collaboratively to create immersive experiences inspired by the research. In addition, many of the VR:RV participants will contribute to the public debate on VR through public panels and presentations at MUTEK_IMG.

Part II: Public Panels, Presentations and Workshop Sessions at re:publica, Berlin, May 1 - 5, 2018

The VR:RV participants will reconvene 3 weeks later for re:publica in Berlin, Europe's biggest conference on topics concerning digitisation and society, and one of the world's most exceptional festivals on digital culture. At re:publica, the German and Canadian participants will be featured alongside the festival's outstanding programming in a series of conferences on VR and its interfaces with performance arts, journalism and ethics.

Part III: Project Conclusion and Future Outlook in Montreal, November 2018

The final programme reconvening the RV:VR participants, will take place in November during the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal and will be announced at a later date.


The project brings together exceptional experts, producers coders, artists and thinkers, representing a total of 12 VR production companies and 12 institutions. These German and Canadian participants have been carefully selected to represent multiple viewpoints and applications of virtual reality, as well a gender parity and multiple ethnic backgrounds. Key names include Ana Serrano (Canadian Film Centre), Annina Zwettler (ARTE DE (VR), Brett Gaylor (Mozilla Foundation), Louis-Richard Tremblay (ONF / NFB), Nyla Innuksuk (NKNK), Paul Feigelfeld (TBA-21 Academy) and Tess Takahashi (York University).


VR:RV is a project by the Goethe-Institut realized with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The project has been developed in close collaboration with MUTEK (Montreal) and re:publica (Berlin). The workshop component during MUTEK_IMG is also supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Further project partners include: National Film Board of Canada, the Canadian Film Centre, ARTE Germany, Doc Circuit Montréal (RIDM's industry event), and Retune.

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