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Virtual Reality &

Journalism and the newest immersive technologies come together to reimagine our interaction with digital society. 

Between April and November 2018 professional virtual reality creators, artists, thinkers and journalists from Canada and Germany are invited to network, exchange knowledge, collaborate on new works, and share their critical explorations with the public. Follow the initiative here and via #VRRV2018.

VR:RV© Goethe-Institut

VR:RV: Fostering Networking, Collaboration and Co-Production

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.

Together with Canadian and German partner organizations, a series of internal workshop sessions and public panels, curated by Samara Chadwick, is organized for and with the project participants in Montreal and Berlin. VR:RV is a project by the Goethe-Institut, realized with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. Partners include: MUTEK_IMG, re:publica, the National Film Board of Canada, the Canadian Film Centre, ARTE Germany, Eye Steel Film, Mozilla Foundation, Doc Circuit Montréal (RIDM's industry event), la SODEC and Retune. The Canada Council for the Arts supported the first workshop in the series during MUTEK_IMG.


Follow the Conversation

Annina Zwettler

Annina Zwettler
“It’s like a bricolage process…”

…we don’t know where it is heading. For me as an editor and program developer, it is interesting to see how this process is happening.

Christiane Miethge

Christiane Miethge
"You can make people think"

VR is a really emotional medium. You can really make people care about things they would usually find too abstract.


Liam Maloney

Liam Maloney
“I am looking for intimate ways into bigger stories…”

…so that I can convince people of their importance.

Sönke Kirchhof

Sönke Kirchhof
"We are curious about VR"

We are trying to keep our minds open for everything because all of these projects brought us some learning.

Tess Takahashi

Tess Takahashi
"...a very embodied, sensory experience."

I’m an interested in the ways that we know the world through the senses, but also through diagrams, graphs and various kinds of media. The thing about virtual technology is that it is very technologized, but it is also a very embodied, sensory experience.




Panel | Wednesday April 11 | 1:30 pm
Documenting the Digital Society: VR Reflects on Itself

This panel brings together the leading thinkers and journalists of the VR:RV project to discuss their research on the deep web, artificial intelligence, big data and brain computer interfaces. 


Panel | Wednesday April 11 | 3:30 pm
Visualising the Invisible: VR Encounters in Non-Fiction

What are the implications of VR as voyeurism, as witness to trauma and conflict: what can we expose and what should we ultimately leave to the imagination?


Panel | Thursday, April 12 | 9:00 AM

What happens when reality and virtual reality intersect? 
Panel 1: (Anti) Manifesto, Part 2: Where are we now ?
Panel 2: Stories We Sell

VR:RV @ Re:Publica

Discussion | Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 pm | Pop-Up Room @ Re:publica
Re:Publica: VR (Anti) Manifesto Part III

What happens when reality and virtual reality intersect? Beyond games, sci-fi and straight up science, how do we code VR in the non-fiction spaces of art? journalism? documentary? What does VR really mean for these realities? What are the limitations and ethics of that code? What does it mean to ‘construct’ reality? To engineer emotions?
Panel with: Fernanda Parente, Ana Serrano, Sandra Rodriguez, Karim Ben Khelifa

VR:RV @ Re:Publica

Discussion | May 3, 10:00 am | Bühne 9 @ Re:Publica
Re:Publica: Project Presentations - VR:RV & Performersion

We open our “Immersive Arts”-Topic with a group of Lightning Talks. This panel brings together participants of the VR:RV project to present their recent research. They are joined by artists of the Berlin-based Performersion-Festival. All of them present their projects in 5 minutes each.
Panelists: Paul Feigelfeld, Liam Maloney, Tess Takahashi, Christiane Miethge

VR:RV @ Re:Publica

Discussion | May 3, 4:15 pm | Bühne 9 @ Re:Publica
Re: Publica: VR:RV - Stories We Tell

“Story and narrative are the code for humanity's operating system." (Kamal Sinclair, Making a New Reality)  Which codes are embedded in the way we tell stories, and how can VR explode and expand these scripts?
Panelists: Chris Köver, Nyla Innuksuk, Etienne Turpin

VR:RV @ Re:Publica

Discussion | May 3, 5:30 pm | Bühne 9 @ Re:Publica
Re:Publica: VR:RV - Visualising the Invisible: VR Encounters in Non-Fiction

What does VR allow us to witness that is otherwise invisible? How can new immersive spaces invite us to explore the frontiers of journalism, science, education? What are the implications of VR as voyeurism, as witness to trauma and conflict: what can we expose and what should we ultimately leave to the imagination?
Panelists: Liam Maloney, Carolin Wiedemann, Sophie Schulenburg


Exhibition | May 2.- 4. | Main Hall @ Re:publica
VR:RV Exhibition: Goethe-Institut x Phi Centre

Selected VR works from Canada and Germany are co-presented by the Goethe-Institut and the Phi Centre: The Nomad Trilogy by well-known Montréal-based VR studio Felix and Paul (Herders, Maasai, Sea Gypsies), and one work produced by the National Film Board, Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev. German works include the Arte-produced pieces Rhizomat VR  by Mona el Gammal, Brigitte and Jonathan Meese: Mother and Son  by Jonathan Meese, and Moderat by the German VR studio, Sehsucht.


Project Conclusion in Montreal

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

VR:RV Experts

VR:RV Partners

VR:RV Partners