We live in an era where we see the fast-changing trends of new technical terms. The rise and fall of those terms and trends continues even before we actually learn what they are. The value of cryptocurrency abruptly goes up and down repeatedly, and sometimes watching those changing numbers seems unreal as if we are living in virtual reality. Furthermore, the pandemic and climate crisis have shaken the very foundations of existence.
The change might seem dazzling and sometimes confusing, but we can see that digitalization is in progress in all sectors. Films, which have built a vivid image-based storytelling world by chemically stuffing lights and making them into motion pictures, have now entered the stage where light-speed duplication and transmission are possible through a complete digitization process. Even ultra-high-resolution images can be transmitted in less than a minute. We can enjoy them wherever and whenever with an internet connection, even if we don't download them. The excitement of waiting in line at the theater to get movie tickets has gone to the other side of the memory lane. In the era where we exchange data in real-time, stuffed stories seem even more frustrating.
But has the nature of storytelling changed? Are those assets of stories that humankind has accumulated over the years still valid today? Beyond Reality, the XR section of BIFAN, celebrates its seventh anniversary this year and pays special attention to changes in storytelling that constantly adopt new technologies. In the process of transforming into a digital world, we will focus on how the world of stories alters its shape, which we can witness through real-time interactions and exchanges, as well as how the changes in technology and medium lead to changes in identity and the way of communication.
An experience of communication approaching a physically distant being, it could be someone else, or it could be another ‘me’. The target of communication could be a person, or it could be a mass of information that behaves like a human. On the other hand, we would like you to imagine and experience what it's like to be defined as a mass of information. The way of storytelling in the real-time based digital world is certainly different from that of the past. It will be awkward if we adopt the old storytelling techniques as they have been. In the hope that many creators and audiences will discover that point, Beyond Reality presents works seeking to identify boundaries in various formats.
Various XR contents which might be considered as performances, as projection mapping content, or as VR projects that experiments the possibility of various interactive storytelling are ready to meet the audience. We hope this could be the moment to experience how filmmakers expand their dreams rather than feeling devastated how remote these works are from the status quo.
Jay KIM XR Curator, Beyond Reality Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN)