GHOSTS OF CAMP X
“Ghosts of Camp X” is a VR experience (Vive and Gear VR) set in an abandoned US detention center (fictionalized) in Iraq. Ghosts of Iraqi detainees and American soldiers roam the grounds, long after US troops have left the country. While rubble pocks the pathways, the barriers and barracks’ walls are covered with actual murals painted by detainees and GIs.
THE CONCEPT: INTERACTIVE & NONLINEAR
In “Ghosts of Camp X,” take a journey through the detainee sector (Iraq side) or the GI sector (American side) of the camp and press nose-to-nose with a ghost. Move in various directions by swiping the Gear VR touchpad. Ghosts are “clickable.” Once your gaze comes into contact with an apparition, the reticle in your sight-line changes shape. Tap the touchpad (“click”) to view either a 2D video (embedded in the CG environment) or a 360 video (scene transition).
These found videos present real-life experiences by detainees and soldiers in Iraq. While some films reveal life inside a US detention center, others give you a peek into life outside the camp, such as fishing on the Tigris river, feeding birds in Baghdad or visiting the Hajj in Mecca.
In “Ghosts of Camp X” the real world (cinema) is embedded in the fantasy world (CG).
INSPIRATION: THE ART OF WAR
CAMP BUCCA, Iraq (Army News Service, March 9, 2010) — Since Sept. 16, Iraqi civilian and U.S. military deconstruction teams have transformed the landscape surrounding the rusting, chain-link walls of the theatre interment facility here to piles of rubble.
That day, the last prisoners of the TIF boarded the detainee air transport north-bound for Camp Cropper, near Baghdad. The Camp Bucca detention center, located in United States Division-South near the city of Umm Qasr, was officially shut down.
Today it is a ghost town punctuated by splashes of color on the many buildings within the concertina-topped fences.
The color comes from nearly five years of detainees putting paint brushes to the outer plywood walls to create hundreds of murals on buildings around the interment facility.
“The detainees painted all of the murals in the compounds and a significant majority of the murals outside,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth King, commander of the 306th Military Police Battalion.
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CAPTURING THE ART OF IRAQIs & AMERICANs
Maya, Mudbox, Motionbuilder, Fuse, Unity 3D, Photoshop, Premiere
J. Dakota Powell is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of LoNyLa (London-New York-LA )/TimeWave, a transatlantic collective that explores the intersection of arts/entertainment and technology. Currently, she co-runs the Virtual Reality Lab in partnership with the NYU Game Center / MAGNET.
Programming has included TimeWave (timewavefestival.com), an international theatre/tech festival gathering 75 artists and streaming in new work from London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Madrid and Montreal. Sponsors: Walt Disney Imagineering, Hathersage Capital Management, Arts Council England, Telestream and Vidyo. Velocity Lab linked multiple cities (i.e., London, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Singapore) to broadcast rehearsed readings of new plays, teleplays and screenplays. TimeWave 2014-2015 combined a transmedia lab, virtual reality (VR) hackathon and an immersive tech playground / festival. She produced NYC’s first VR Hackathon: Mythos & Moxie in 2015. Hosted by ITP/NYU, hackathon partners included NYVR, NYC Media Lab, Littlstar and Samsung Studio. Sponsors: EEVO, Fake Love, Freedom 360, Leap Motion, Littlstar, Oculus, Unity 3D and VISR. Tech Times: bit.ly/1DJwDUo
Previous to LoNyLa/TimeWave, Powell was the Producing Artistic Director of Brave New World on Broadway, the major theatrical artistic response to the first year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Responsibilities included: assembling a board of directors, funding (corporate sponsorship and private donations), managing infrastructure (administrative and technical teams), recruiting artists, and vetting and developing content. Fifty new plays and songs were presented over four performances at Town Hall, New York City. Over 150 award-winning artists participated, including: Alec Baldwin, Isabella Rossellini, Holly Hunter, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke, Amy Irving, Sam Waterston, Liev Schreiber and Eli Wallach, to name a few.
Powell is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her skills include: Maya, Mudbox, Motionbuilder, Unity 3D, image/sound/video editing and coding.