"Anicca" is the Pali word for impermanence, and one of the three marks of existence in Buddhism. This piece is about the arc of any human experience, be it a moment, a place, a relationship, or life itself, from emptiness to form and back to emptiness. My hope is that the viewer brings awareness their own response to the space, be that aversion, attachment, or otherwise, as a reflection of how they respond to impermanence itself. I have seen viewers dance in the headset, wander off trying to walk around the space, draw with their hands in the air, exclaim things and smile and cry, which makes me think something is working.
This piece explores the melding of animation, music, and dance, and brings into that the element of space. It was made in a deeply collaborative process with the composer (Compass Ion) and the dancers (Stevie Gibbs, Emily Rawl, and Katrina Miller), wherein the visuals, the sound, and the dances were all developed at the same time, instead of one being based on the other, or any of the three being tacked on at the end. It is also an exploration of 360 animation's immersive nature and sense of presence - nearly all the movements, including non-humanoid figures, are driven by motion capture of dancers to explore a more abstract sense of presence, and were carefully choreographed in an immersive space.
"Anicca" was my senior thesis project for Animation and Digital Arts at the University of Southern California, and was the first animated VR project in School of Cinematic Arts history. It was funded by a grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, and an early draft won 1st Place in 360 Animation by the Disney-sponsored VRSC Festival. It was featured at the VR Visual Music Lounge at Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live 3, and was a Semifinalist for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards. Anicca is an Official Selection of Adobe First Frame, Ivy Film Festival, Nonplussed Fest, LifeArt Media Festival, Split Film Festival, and San Francisco Dance Film Festival.