Last Thursday, 21 July 2017, I had another one of those milestone moments that will stay with me forever. A photorealistic avatar turns towards me and makes eye contact in VR.

In a non-descript room at the University of Sydney I was sitting on a low chair wearing a Vive headset and having a conversation with possibly the most realistic human CG head ever created. …

Speech at the 2017 ADG Awards Dinner, 5th May 2017.

I was going to start by breaking down what innovation means but I’m going to leave that to our illustrious politicians. Instead, by way of introducing the recipient of this award, I want to share other terms. The recipient of this award goes is a very welcoming organisation and they invite participants to think of themselves in terms of three groups. So as I call each out, think of which ones you relate to.

Are you a hacker? A hustler? A hipster? I don’t have anything much to add on…

Occasional address given for AIT Sydney graduation ceremony — 7 April 2017

Humans. We are amazing.

This is what I was thinking this earlier this week, wondering as you do, what does a director who graduated over 24 years ago really have to say to a room full of newly minted makers. The context in which you’re graduating is so different from mine. In the space of a few decades, we’ve seen incredible changes and there’s more to come. Let me share with you my perspective on what I love about this space we all work in.

My career has…

I recently had the opportunity to put the Lytro Illium light field camera through its paces thanks to the UTS Perceptual Imaging Laboratory. Light field technology sits at the forefront of digital imaging research with all kinds of exciting possibilities for mixed reality. The ability to refocus a photo after you shoot it sounded right up my street as a remixable media maker. Unprecedented control over depth of field and depth mattes sounded brilliant. …

Diversity is a hot topic right now and where I am, in Australia, gender diversity is a national conversation. My home town Sydney is one of the world’s most multi-cultural cities but you wouldn’t guess that from our screens. When it comes to AR/VR platforms, the warning signs are already there that the same old rules might apply. White male perspectives dominate and all others struggle for equal access to the frontier. Forget any notions of meritocracy and social justice, if VR is going to offer a mono-culture then we all lose. It will be bloody boring. If you’re reading…

I’ve only just started working with room-scale VR but it’s been a long time coming.

This all started for me in the 90s, mucking around with VRML on the desktop, playing Dactyl Nightmare in a games arcade (a minute’s play for my coin!), and selling my own VR “interactive film” screenplay, Ten Weeks in the Headbin.

A lot of excitement. A lot of dead ends. And ultimately a slow realisation that things take time. You never know when truly new mediums will take hold. This time around, VR looks more promising.

After spending the tail end of 2015 in a…

Michela Ledwidge

Artist / Director / Technologist @modprods @rackandpin @remixable

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