About the artists
Neon Minuit is a duo of artists who use digital tools. They capture bits and pieces of reality to stage them in their playground: the virtual world. Their artistic approach is inspired by scientific experimentation and serendipity. Using the tools of video games, they explore and experiment with new ways of perceiving reality, apprehending new spaces and creating illusions. Like modern magicians, they make pixels sing and polygons dance.
About the project
Beyond Midnight is an immersive interactive experience. Between a digital sculpture and a playful immersion in the cyberspace. You will discover the world of the inner travel, infinite digital landscapes and will learn about the technology of spirituality.
Originally, the selected project “Shift: the inner journey” was a virtual reality documentary on shifting: a mental meditation technique that appeared on the TikTok social network. Through various discussion and brainstorming sessions, the project was renamed “Beyond Midnight” and transformed into an immersive installation with a narrative mise en abyme, while retaining the subject of the mind’s journey through technology and spirituality.
The residency took place in Kaohsiung. We had around ten days to make a prototype for the opening of the festival, then another ten days to make a final prototype for the arrival of the professionals, artists and producers. We worked on the design of the interactivity, the sensations of the experience, the installation, the collection of content using photogrammetry and volumetric capture, and interviews with technological, cultural and spiritual actors.
A very thin time frame for such a planning. Time definitively had an impact on production design decision: we decided to focus on content, interactivity and installation to the detriment of the narrative. This last point is now the keystone of the next steps of the project.
The narrative objective of the project is to create an immersive experience that showcases digital creation. Through the pursuit of a character, we discover what goes on behind the scenes of a digital project that unfolds as we explore. The character we are looking for is a young person who has managed to use the shifting technique to travel through his inner world, and whose mental potential is so brilliant that they breaks through virtual boundaries to enter the imaginary world of the project. By staging the creators of the experience in our own image, we are addressing the user, giving them the mission of finding this disruptive agent with infinite potential.
The installation is a set of perceptions of the project : video projection, video game and virtual reality. The goal is to propose different medium to immerse yourself in the same digital space. The video game device is placed to suggest that you are controlling the user in the virtual reality area, and the projection screen act as a physical fourth wall.
The user encounters the installation through the projection of a video onto a semi-transparent canvas. This is the first entry into the world of the installation. This layer represents the medium of cinema: a huge projection that reveals the contents of an imaginary world.
After viewing the projection, users can begin their immersion by sitting down in front of a vintage computer to interact with an application. This layer represents the medium of the video game: an interactive device that allows users to grasp and explore a virtual world.
Finally the user can enter the digital space with a virtual reality headset. This is the third layer of the installation, which put the user in the core of the experience with an immersive interaction.
The link in between
All the layers have the purpose to build an installation that is both a digital sculpture to appreciate from a distance and an interactive immersion to experience inside. The next step is to develop further the link in between all medium, make it explicit that we are perceiving the same digital world through different lens.
For instance the projection will project user interface gizmos that tracks the position of the headset and controllers, as if we were seeing through an x-ray screen. Data such as velocities, elevation, localization will also be illustrated as global tracking interface. The projection will also reuse the current position of the video game avatar to show the current digital landscape.
The video game avatar and the virtual reality user will also be interacting with each other through network synchronization.
Through interviews with players in the field of technology, spirituality and culture, we explore the theme of the digital as a new spiritual space and how the world of the mind can be a mental technology.
A Taiwanese documentary cinematographer renowned for her work, including the critically acclaimed series “Island of Mountains”. While filming “A Journey with Invisible Friends” a documentary exploring spirituality, she unexpectedly discovered her own spiritual abilities. Currently, she is in the process of filming a documentary that features her as the protagonist, documenting her extraordinary
encounters with otherworldly entities.
An Information Security Engineer at the Ministry of Digital Affairs, he is recognized for initiating the FAB DAO, which translates art memes into tangible assets. This creative endeavor involves transforming them into NFT collectibles and auctioning them, aiming to bridge the industry into the Web 3 era.
Shang Chiao Li
Writer/director of film and writer of comic, she is dedicated to cross cultural and discipline boundaries through story telling. Li, Shang Chiao is the screenwriter of animated film and manga “Mayfly Island”. The works were shortlisted for Excellent Scripts Award, Golden Horse FTP, and was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan. In 2020, she was awarded Youth Creation Award held by the Ministry of Culture, and is expected to create a collection of historical fictional short stories “The Twilight Zone”. The film “March: The Southern South ” will be included as one of the short stories.
Working at Pier 2
KFF provided a large studio and hardware to work in situ. We were able to use the space to reproduce the festival installation: project video on the wall and test the VR experience in the same area dimension space.
We used the Kinect Azure depth sensor to record volumetric capture of the interviews.
In this video, Dorian is presenting the video game experience of the installation.
In this video, Dorian is presenting how he works with digital content in Unreal engine.
Inside the experience, you unveil the environment by observing it. Thousands of particles are projected from your gaze and settle on the surfaces as they are revealed. These points react to our presence, initially attracted and then stretched in the direction of our movement.
We use photogrammetry to capture real places and moments.
We used vintage monitors and old computers.
We created a set of prints, inspired by old fashioned movie posters and video game jackets.
As an international event dedicated to digital and immersive creation, the objective of NewImages Festival is to promote professional meetings between and with different industries and artistic disciplines, to create a space for discussion to develop new ideas and collaborations, to support works in the process of production and distribution to ensure their visibility.
Established in 2017, the Kaohsiung VR FILM LAB Project continues to encourage creators to use their own creativity and insight to explore and push the boundaries of VR creation. Through the use of ongoing grant programs, cultivation workshops, artist residencies and other initiatives, the project has supported over 32 original Taiwanese and internationally co-produced works.
The French Office in Taipei is France’s unofficial diplomatic representation to the Republic of China (Taiwan). Bringing together several French administrative departments under the authority of a director appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is located in Taipei, the country’s capital. Since August 2023, it has been headed by Franck Paris.
Residency jury members
We would like to thank Sebox Hong, Nicolas Rouilleault and Michele Ziegler for having placed their trust in us by selecting our project.
The project exists thanks to the collaboration with Tamanoir Studio. We would like to thank Rémi and Sam for building the original project and supporting us with this residency.
Yiting and Kuan-Jen
We would like to thank Yiting and Kuan-Jen for helping us to prepare for our residency and enabling us to work in good conditions.
Marcus, Shang and friends
The festival is organized by many wonderful individuals, we would like to thank specially Marcus, Shang and all the team that bring everything together. Thank you for this such fantastic moment!
There is many more actors that participated to the success of this residency: thanks everyone for supporting us.