2022 marked the 5th edition of the New Dimensions AR/VR Lab in Cape Town, South Africa.
The New Dimensions Lab brought together diverse African artists to develop stories told through creative technology alongside leading industry mentors. The Lab took place over the course of a week at a private retreat where artists engaged in discussions and masterclasses, and workshopped their creative projects. As a result of the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Lab took on a hybrid format giving applicants who were unable to travel an opportunity to virtually immerse themselves.
18 artists were accepted to our 2022 hybrid lab in South Africa, 12 of them joining us in-person and 6 joining virtually via zoom and our Thursday evening Metaverse Meetups. We had a further 6 artists join virtually from the Africa No Filter call.
This year the demo sessions were more extensive then they have ever been and included interactive media visualization generative art creative tools like Touch Designer, LiDar Scanning, 3D Scanning, 360 cinematic VR content capture, 3D virtual reality sculpting, explorations and excursions into the Metaverse (Social VR), animation workflows, unity creation, etc.
Democratizing the space begins with giving artists tools to create the content they want to. From our first Oculus sponsored giveaway in 2019, Electric South realized this was required by artists joining the XR community from the African continent. Electric South raised the funds to give each participant an Oculus Quest 2 and tethering cable to experiment and join the weekly Metaverse Meetups, a community hub for XR creative technologists and enthusiasts.