Open City Documentary Festival

Expanded Realities Exhibition

Wed 09 Sep, 00:00

Our Expanded Realities programme seeks to find new pathways for storytelling at the intersection of art and technology. Traditionally we host a free exhibition during the festival at our Central London Festival Hub, platforming a selection of interactive cross-media installations & VR films from around the world.

For this year’s digital edition we are excited to present a web-based exhibition for the first time. We will host a mix of curated and newly commissioned work from artists and practitioners pushing the boundaries of interactive non-fiction storytelling. The exhibition will be free to access and available internationally from 9th – 15th September. A full micro-site that has been specially built to host the exhibition will launch soon.

Confirmed Projects: 

A Space Journey by Ingvild Isaksen

An interactive scenography that invites you to embody, translate, move, and be moved by your immediate surroundings.

Ingvild Isaksen is a Norwegian multidisciplinary artist investigating ways of using sound and movement to challenge the perspective of our surroundings. Her works often takes place in spaces chosen for their sensoric quality in order to convey an experience. Inspired to collaborate with the audience as much as the performers, she invites the audience to create their own narratives and characters by triggering their imagination.

Ingvild recently graduated with an MA in Scenography from the Norwegian Theatre Academy in Fredrikstad (2020), holds a BA(Hons) in Dance Theatre from Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music & Dance in London(2012) as well as a 2-year curatorial study in fine arts and design from the College of Oslo(2009). She is continuously collaborating with choreographer Masako Matsushita under the name “A MasIng Productions” and is regularly a performer in the interdisciplinary Theater F in Oslo. Ingvild initiated and curates for the site specific festival Sånafest in Norway and was granted a 3-year work scholarship from the Norwegian Art Council in 2015. See her web page for more info.

Iustitium / State Of Exception by Henrietta Williams, Merijn Royaards 

A visual and sonic journey through the heavily controlled landscape of lockdown London during the Covid-19 crisis of 2020. The project sets out to connect viewers across digital space into an experiential understanding of our own bodies and our place within the surveilled city.

Merijn Royaards and Henrietta Williams are artist/researchers whose distinct individual practices and backgrounds converge to create multi-sensory, filmic works that explore the psychological and societal ramifications of sonic warfare, surveillance and states of exception. Their collaborative practice is based on a continual search for multi-sensory interventions that push the envelope of art and research as concept-driven work that exceeds language, though never negates academic rigour and specificity.

They Call Me Asylum Seeker by Tamara Shogaolu 

A web-based interactive experience that follows four LGBTQ people from the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 to the migrant and refugee “crisis” in Europe today. Weaving together an audio documentary with stylized animations, interactive features allow audiences to explore chapters of the story at their own pace. 

They Call Me Asylum Seeker is part of Queer in a Time of Forced Migration, an animated transmedia series that follows the stories of LGBTQ refugees from Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia across continents and cultures — from the 2011 Revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa region to the world today.

Tamara Shogaolu is the founder and creative director of Ado Ato Pictures. She is an international director and new media artist who strives to share stories across mediums, platforms, and virtual and physical spaces in order to promote cross-cultural understanding and challenge preconceptions. With a track record in featuring her work at film festivals, galleries, and museums worldwide, such as the Tribeca Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Indonesia, her innovative approach to storytelling has led to sources like The Guardian, Forbes Magazine and Vogue naming her as a leader in the field of new and immersive media. She was a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow, a 2019 Gouden Kalf Nominee, a 2020 Creative Capital Award Recipient, and a 2020 Sundance New Frontier John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grantee. Tamara was a Burton Lewis Endowed Scholar for Directing at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she graduated with an MFA. Shogaolu was also a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, a Luce Scholar in Indonesia, and an Academy Nicholls Fellowship Semifinalist.

Voyages by Chandra Frank / Andrea Zarza Canova

Two interactive multimedia essays exploring stories of place. 

The Song of the Shepherd, by Andrea Zarza Canova

This voyage explores the presence and absence of sound in traditional sheep herding practices in the Basque country. Drawing on artist Nader Koochaki’s singular archive of audiovisual media, the interrelation between flock, shepherd and sheep dog is revealed.

Andrea Zarza Canova is an archivist and curator. She is a curator at the British Library’s sound archive. She also co-runs record label, Mana, which publishes works at the intersection of contemporary and archival sound by artists such as Luc Ferrari, Nicolás Jaar and De Leon. Independently, she has curated exhibitions and listening installations which explore cultural constructs through sound such as in the Meltdown Listening Lounge for David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival (Southbank Centre, London) in Charivaria at CentroCentro (Madrid, Spain), and in All in a Day’s Work at Rhubaba Gallery (Edinburgh, Scotland). She produces a regular show for NTS Radio, highlighting ethnographic sound recordings from the British Library’s collections.

Beneath the Surface: Waterways, Circulation and Glimmers of Place, by Chandra Frank

An experimental essay delving into the Amsterdam canal structures and their resonance for feminist and queer collectives of colour in the 1980s

Chandra Frank is a feminist researcher and curator. Her work focuses on the role of archives, queer diaspora, and the politics of care. Chandra has published in peer-reviewed journals and exhibition catalogues, including Feminist Review, the Small Axe VLOSA catalogue, The Place is Here publication and the collection Tongues. Her curated exhibitions include Re(as)sisting Narratives, Fugitive Desires, and Proclamation 73 (co-curated with Zara Julius). Chandra set up the short courses Bad Girls: Representations of Race and Gender and Masters of Sex: Feminisms, Sexuality and the Archive currently still running at Goldsmiths. She lectures in queer of colour theory, critical race studies and gender studies. Chandra is currently the inaugural Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Taft Research Centre at the University of Cincinnati.

Arcade by Various

Made with Twine, Bitsy and other open source game-making tools, this collection contains a number of playable works that are available to explore in the browser.

Project information is forthcoming.

Image: They Call Me Asylum Seeker