PRODUCTION: Romanian Writer/Director Ioana Mischie in production with TANGIBLE UTOPIAS, a groundbreaking virtual reality world

  • the meditative virtual reality experience brings to life an Odyssey of future cities as inspired by the visions of children worldwide with the goal to inspire societal development for the very long term.
  • the most recent virtual reality project is selected for Cannes XR, the global program for immersive entertainment, that will take place in between the 22nd and the 26th of June 2020 in an online setting
  • artistic virtual reality worlds of this kind along with their international recognition open up a new field of artistic creation in Eastern Europe, with the potential to fuel up and revitalize the post-pandemic industry in unprecedented manners. Having a modular design, the project is designed as an ongoing piece, combining pioneering processes of cinematic and computer-generated creation.

About the project

TANGIBLE UTOPIAS is an artistic exploratory Virtual Reality world experience written and directed by Ioana Mischie, immersing the explorer as a first person PoV into an Odyssey of potential future cities, as envisaged by children worldwide. The project is fueled by the visions of the children in Government of Children, an ongoing transmedia universe aiming to archive how kids would re-design their future cities on the long term if they would be the leaders. So far, there are more than 200 visions archived that might serve as inspiration for the development of “infinite future worlds”, as the director anticipates.

The Virtual Reality medium brings to life multiple visions, creating an exploratory and meditative game journey for the user. The project represents a conceptual, artistic and technological premiere aiming to bring visionary thinking into tangible exploratory worlds and to design interactive meaningful worlds. At the end of the experience, each user is expected to personalize their chosen futures. 

The VR world has multiple dimensions aiming to tap not only into an artistic gamified experience, but also aiming to open up the field of edutainment - educational entertainment for both children and adults. The project is designed to be a transmedia VR franchise, opening up numerous extensions possibilities.

Tangible Utopias is currently selected for the Cannes XR program, the immersive entertainment initiative that will take place as an online event over June 22-26 2020. 

The selection will present 23 projects from 14 countries representing different formats (6DoF, 360 video, augmented reality, real time installations), and different genres (Documentary, Games, Animation, Arts installation) but all relying on the power of storytelling.

Cannes XR welcomes projects in  advanced prototype-stage in order to match them with qualitative mentorship, global expertise, investors and transdisciplinary partners. Selected projects will pitch to international decision makers over a period of three days and present their work-in-progress materials inside the Museum of Other Realities.

The emergence of a genre: a first noe-fi approach 

Tangible Utopias launches, among many,  a brand new genre for audio-visual productions. As the creator/director of the project describes the world, “Tangible Utopias is a noetic fiction world or noe-fi, as we love to nickname it. It is rather different than the sci-fi genre, because instead of imagining science-led futures, it aims to rather design consciousness-driven futures, It is a blend of noetic science and hope-filled visions. The virtual world facilitates a form of virtual telepathy where we can explore the imaginaries of others about meaningful futures. The noe-fi genre is a concept I have first designed in my PhD thesis on transmedia futurism. I believe it may open up an array of new philosophical and cinematic configurations that are intertwining humanity, nature, architecture more organically and more constructively. In this particular case, we use advanced forms of collaborative fiction to prototype vivid, multi-layered, multi-dimensional future realities.” - Ioana Mischie, founder of the VR franchise.

The project started production in March 2020, in full pandemic crisis, aiming to bring up hope-filled worlds to counterbalance the crisis. Computer-generated artistic worlds such as Tangible Utopias may open up wider innovative horizons for the Eastern European film industry, especially in the current post-pandemic context. In countries like Romania, where IT and New Media communities seem to be growing exponentially,  digital production is expected to increase and to launch practices and pipelines that might prove helpful for international collaborative AV works.

The pipeline of the project consists of using game engines to their fullest potential in order to convey compelling, highly stylized interactive worlds. The practice might be used for VR, film or other AV formats and could revolutionize the current practices of the industry. In this way, a new form of creativity might emerge. At the moment, VR franchises and projects of this kind need compatible cultural policies and infrastructures: “We need to design cultural policies at a European level that empower innovation in the audio-visual fields and these might take a plurality of forms: development infrastructures for artistic VR, production and distribution support for transmedia franchises. Especially for Romania, having an excellent track industry in both the film and the IT fields, an encouragement of interactive and immersive film projects could open up an entire innovative wave of creativity.”  according to the team

Current status and expected release date 

At the moment the project is prototype-stage and already reunites the first  3 potential future worlds inspired by the proposals of the visionary participants. The project is expected to complete its development in the summer, being launched by the end of 2020 as a first module. Being an ongoing world, the creators of the project have a modular approach towards expanding the artistic project.

The creative path might have transdisciplinary echoes in multiple disciplines, as it taps into architecture, psychology, sociology. The VR world could be seen as an entry point into meditative storytelling in VR:

 “Our high-end goal is to come closer to envisaging holistic artistic worlds that can be showcased not only in customized spaces like cinemas or VR theatres, but simply in every single dimension of our societies.” - Ioana Mischie, transmedia artist/futurist.

Projects such as Tangible Utopias open up a multitude of horizons in the art-tech fields, aiming to take European audio-visual innovation at the state of the art level. 

The creative team 

The current VR world is produced by STORYSCAPES in collaboration with STUDIOSET and SEETHREE. The virtual reality world is written and directed by Ioana Mischie, inspired by the ideas of interviewed children in Government of Children and creatively adapted into cohesive virtual universes. The Unreal engine integration is signed by Mircea Olteanu. The current 3D models are developed by Călin Bogdacenco and Alexandru Pop from Studioset. The sound and music are signed by Andrei Nechifor, while the editing of the VR excerpts is signed by Bogdan Jugureanu. The research and development process are facilitated by Luna Nica and Theodora Giurgiuveanu. 

There is a rolling call for future visions addressed to children worldwide here.

Last modified on 19-06-2020