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Laval: an Avignon festival for VR?

Apr.4-8, 2018. Laval (France) More info. An article in Ouest-France.

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As says Laurent Chrétien, Laval Virtual leader (but not a virtual leader, LOL), "Our aim is to install in Laval the Avignon of virtual reality". Is that realistic? Utopia can turn out paying.

- Positive signs:
. A very rich program. The presence of some important speakers in VRIC
. A dynamic and competent team
. The last years have seen a dramatic increase in size and attendance of Laval Virtual
. The city and region are dedicated to this emblematic and worldwide know event
. A permanent structure is now operational: the Laval Virtual Center is a hub where cooperate multinational corporations, worldwide known research laboratories and specialist schools.
. The games market opens wide opportunities to VR art. If we take games as a resolutely artistic approach, we note authors like Balthazar Auxiere and La Peri, Innerspace or Survirtuality_Room by Judith Guez and Lab'surd with Kevin Wagrez and Guillaume Bertinet.

- Negative signs:
. Paris, notably with Virtual Film is more and more active on the field, and sets itself as a competitor and not a partner of Laval. The New Image festival, on precisely the same days, targets creativity and diverse representation forms, setting in parallel hardware and software industries (AI, digitizing...), even though VR is not specifically named..
. Up to now, very few artists have invested themselves in the VR field, and the art market will not easily find a niche for such a specific technology. But "ludic art" and comic fields remain largely open.
. 3D Cinema, for instance, did not get success, no more than holography. But, hopefully, History could sweep aside our doubts.

Pierre Berger and Yves de Ponsay




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