Virtual Futures

Virtual Futures: XR Showcase
Curated by Britt Salvesen and Jesse Damiani
Presented by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA
Virtual Reality is one of the most eagerly discussed topics in contemporary culture, yet many in the art world are only starting to consider its impact – aesthetic, technological, psychological, therapeutic, economic, and so forth. This year, DIVERSEartLA offers four VR experiences that demonstrate the range of practices and possibilities that are defining VR in 2019.

Visitors can get a glimpse of the future as seen by four different creative innovators: Wesley Allsbrook, Nancy Baker Cahill, Jorge R. Gutiérrez, and Drue Kataoka

The tools for VR and AR creation and display – once the purview of engineers, available mainly in academia and the military – are now much more accessible to anyone with a story to tell: game designers, painters, screenwriters, documentarians, journalists, architects, choreographers, and many more. Often working collaboratively across several disciplines, this diverse community of creators is discovering the technology’s potential, involving audiences in the very act of creation. 

According to consulting curator Jesse Damiani, “The advent of mainstream immersive technologies is the single greatest amplification of human capability since the discovery of fire, a paradigm shift so massive we’ve only just begun to taste its impact.” 

Britt Salvesen joined LACMA in October 2009 as curator and head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department. Previously, she was director and chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, and adjunct professor in the Art History Department. She received her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and her PhD from the University of Chicago. 

In 2016, Salvesen was named one of the year’s most influential curators by Artsy and received an award for curator of the year from the Los Angeles Art Show. Her most recent curatorial projects at LACMA are Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (winner of a Lucie Award and a Global Fine Art Award) and Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, both 2016; VR installation Alejandro González Iñárritu: Carne y Arena (2017); and 3D: Double Vision, which opened at LACMA in July 2018.

Jesse Damiani is Editor-at-Large of VRScout, a Forbes contributor, and CEO of Galatea, a screenwriting and project management tool for VR and AR stories. Other work appears in Adweek, Billboard, Entrepreneur, HuffPost, IndieWire, and Quartz; with syndication in The New Digital Storytelling textbook, Columbia Journalism Review, and REDEF. He served as curriculum writer/editor for Google’s “VR and 360 Video Production” and “Introduction to Augmented Reality and ARCore” courses as well as a mentor in YouTube’s VR Creator Lab. He regularly speaks at industry events and shows such as Cheddar, Millennials Don’t Suck, and No Proscenium. Last year he was interviewed as an expert source in the AP guide for immersive journalism and was listed as a top global VR influencer by Onalytica.