Digital Culture – 20 projects selected
In the second Digital Culture round of 2022, 20 proposals have been selected. The available budget was not sufficient to award a grant to all positively assessed applications. Odiel van de Nobelen, interim coordinator of the Digital Culture Grant Scheme, reflects on the round.
27 July 2022
In terms of themes, it is noteworthy that the focus observed in the previous round on NFTs (non-fungible tokens) – ownership certificates recorded on the blockchain – continues in this round. Applications have been made for both the creation of NFTs and knowledge-sharing on the subject. Diversity and inclusion and therefore increasing multiperspectivity in the discipline of digital culture remains an underexposed aspect in many applications, despite this being one of the assessment criteria.
The available budget of € 300,000 for this round was not sufficient to award a grant to all 25 positively assessed applications. As a result, the advisory committee had to prioritize. The procedure used is described in the Digital Culture Grant Scheme. After prioritization, 5 projects were eliminated from the selection. Of the 20 projects that were selected, 9 are receiving a starting grant, a form of subsidy intended for the phase prior to the implementation of a large-scale (research) project. A few notable projects from this round’s selection are:
Ancestors – Stichting Wild
Can we, as humanity, develop a better relationship with the future? In an interactive group experience, Ancestors turns the audience into the virtual ancestors of several generations of people in the future. Ancestors does this by using the faces of the participants to ‘synthesize’ the faces of their virtual descendants. Guided by the storytelling methodology and technology from The Smartphone Orchestra, the audience becomes one virtual family, the participants meet their virtual descendants and are given interactive game and conversation assignments via their own phones, where they enter into a relationship with each other and with future generations. The starting grant is being used to create a prototype of the functionality. Based on this, Stichting Wild will carry out storytelling research and produce a first full version of the script.
Sniveler – Faysal Mroueh
Sniveler is a third-person-exploration game that focuses on experimental player-driven narrative structures and explores the psychology of the rich, hedonism and excess. Mroueh has an installation-artist background, and since 2018 has focused more on applying and creating virtual environments. In the start-up phase, Mroueh is focusing on developing the game play, the game mechanics and deepening the central theme of the game. In parallel, Mroueh is examining how theoretical concepts and narrative structures are implemented and further developed in the medium of computer games. The outcome of the starting grant is a game-design document. Based on this, Mroueh wants to make a complete game that will be offered on the Steam platform.
VRtuoos, VRtueel – CUBEVR B.V. (Studio VRij)
Studio Vrij and Stichting Introdans are working together on a Virtual Reality experience for a wide audience, entitled VRtuoos VRtueel. In Studio Vrij’s own description, it wants to show in its productions that VR is a medium that activates and connects people in new ways. The aim of dance company Introdans is to bring as many people as possible in contact with dance, and the two organizations have matched up in creating this VR experience. The experience is suitable for all ages, for people with and without disabilities and requires no prior technological knowledge from the participants. The experience works as follows: the participants come together in a physical space. Half of the group is given VR goggles and sees their own hands and those of other VR participants in their VR environment. An Introdans instructor guides the participants. The other half of the group, the spectators, see on screens what is happening in the VR environment and can dance along. The movements the group makes together are recorded and form a unique lines and forms artwork created by the group. In the five-month development and test phase, the focus will be on, among other things, the application of hand tracking in the VR space, the way gamification can help to get people moving and the way people receive feedback in the VR space.
Click here to see all the projects selected in Digital Culture round 2 – 2022.
Of the 50 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 20 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 40%. The closing date for the next Digital Culture round is 17 August 2022, and the subsequent and final round of the year closes on 12 October 2022.
Photo above: Faysal Mroueh