Launched in October 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic with the goal of supporting the practices of extended reality artists, ONX Studio distinguishes itself as a hybrid space where work is both created and presented. It functions as an accelerator, a subsidized production studio/workspace, and an exhibition gallery located in the Onassis Gallery of Olympic Tower in Midtown Manhattan. ONX Studio works in close dialogue with the New Museum’s cultural incubator NEW INC (New York City) and Onassis Lab (Athens), the Onassis Foundation’s cross-disciplinary incubator that seeks to support innovation and disruption across disciplines. ONX further builds upon the past work of NEW INC, which has attracted top talents who have been exploring storytelling through digital tools including AR, VR, projection mapping, spatial audio, and motion capture.
ONX Studio currently supports a cohort of two dozen artists, with a number of them presenting works in progress for the inaugural “Studio Showcase.” In keeping with the spirit of a “studio space,” the artists are providing a behind-the-scenes component of their creative process to demystify the technology that goes into extended reality work. Each day of the Showcase (June 9-20) will be different from the previous, as projects and installations will rotate and morph. A session may include live motion-capture filming, hybrid live/Virtual Reality (VR) performance, social VR experience, a talk show in VR, or spatial audio experience.
Complementing the installations and experiences are several VR stations that will present finished work by ONX artists, previously only seen during limited runs at festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW.
“Studio Showcase” include:
• Kordae Henry and Jeremy Hartley’s IF NOT NOW is a live motion capture featuring a Flex dancer who is rendered into an Afro-Futurist robotic form and cut into a video to be presented for the remainder of the Showcase.
• Created by ONX members Matthew Niederhauser and John Fitzgerald and their collaborators Wesley Allsbrook and Elie Zananiri, Metamorphic is a social VR experience where the body becomes a vehicle for expression within majestically drawn worlds.
• Using tools such as photogrammetry and volumetric film capture, Reese Donohue presents two new multi-channel video and spatial sound installations created in collaboration with musicians Taja Cheek / L’Rain and Eartheater: SET, a three-channel video and spatial audio installation that explores the sensorial experience of machines combining field recordings, photogrammetry, and video with sonic elements composed by multi-instrumentalist Eartheater to create an adaptive installation generated in real time; and Two Face, video, spatial sound installation and interactive web experience. The work is an expanded version of a previous music video collaboration between Donohue and Taja Cheek / L’Rain, for her recording “Two Face” from her forthcoming album Fatigue.
• Sarah Rothberg’s Channel Whatever presents is an interactive live-streamed performance of metaphysical conversations between the artist and curated guests donning VR headsets to embody avatars in a shared virtual world.
• Theo Triantafyllidis’ Anti-Gone, part theatre, part Twitch.tv, is a dramatic live-streamed play whose central characters are avatars powered by VR headsets and mocap suits worn by stage actors.
A library of VR works created by ONX artists can be experienced within the lab during open hours.