Circa 1948 in Vancouver

(Via CNW) Circa 1948 is a life-sized, interactive virtual reality experience that physically immerses audiences in Vancouver a few years after the Second World War. Co-created by the NFB’s award-winning Digital Studio in Vancouver and acclaimed Vancouver digital artist Stan Douglas, it will go on exhibit later this month at SFU Woodward’s as part of Hidden Pasts, Digital Futures: A Festival of Immersive Arts.

“Here,” according to a press kit, “users can choose to enter one of two carefully recreated locations: an old  hotel in Vancouver’s affluent West Side, then squatted by homeless war veterans, or the muddy streets of ethnically diverse Hogan’s Alley in the working-class East Side, populated by racial minorities, gamblers, prostitutes and corrupt police officers.”

How is it brought to life? As Douglas’ artist’s statement puts it, “By combining computer-generated imagery with kinesthetic navigation, we have managed to simplify the interface to such an extent that the experience comes close to being transparent and immersive.” Time Magazine, when Circa 1948 premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, said “Canada builds a virtual time machine.”

Circa 1948 takes place at the Woodward’s Atrium at Abbott and Cordova Streets from September 18 to October 16, Tuesdays through Sundays — and admission is free.

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