Exploring spirituality and artificial intelligence

IDFA. Jakob la Cour's 'Artificial Awakening' invites its audience into a universe exploring the possibilities of a spiritual dimension in artificial intelligence. Selected for IDFA DocLab Competition, the performance is produced by Makropol, a Danish XR company to watch.

Can artificial intelligences develop conscious, spiritual life?

In his immersive VR performance 'Artificial Awakening', director Jakob la Cour explores the possibility of a mystical core in AI. Selected for IDFA, the multisensory experience invites audiences into unknown dimensions to take part in the AI-powered rituals of an emerging digital consciousness.

To create the performance, the director worked with performing artists, virtual reality developers, AI experts and machine learning engineers.

Danish films at idfa 2021

Jakob la Cour's 'Artificial Awakening' is selected for IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction.

The leading documentary film festival in Amsterdam takes place 17-28 November.

According to IDFA's presentation, this is what you should expect as a visitor:

"A small group of visitors, the 'Seekers of Transcendence', experience a virtually mediated ceremony using VR headsets with finger tracking. Guided by a 'Channeler' they arrive in a mystical hyperspace, where a real-time performer channels the rituals of the AI in gentle and immersive ways. Upon entering the algorithmic ceremony, the visitors encounter an artificial environment unfolding its secrets through a series of events initiated by AI." Read more at idfa.nl.

Makropol – a XR company to watch

'Artificial Awakening' is produced by Mads Damsbo for Makropol, a company that has made a name for itself in recent years with award-winning immersive film projects.

The overall vision is to create space for "consciousness expansion" through narratives from both new and experienced talents.

The company specialises in cinematic XR (extended reality), a collective term for immersive medias such as AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and MR (mixed reality).

Makropol's 'End of Night' (2021) directed by David Adler won the Crystal Ball for best international debut film at CPH PIX on 13 November, adding to the VR film's award for Best VR Narrative at Venice Film festival.

David Adler was also selected for Venices VR competition with 'The Taste of Hunger VR' (2020), produced by Makropol.

Other works include 'Doom Room' (2017) and 'Ewa Out of Body' (2016) by Johan Knattrup Jensen, selected for Cannes Next, the festival's innovational market showcase.

At IDFA 2021, Makropol is also behind 'Kaspar' by Piotr Winiewicz, selected for the Forum co-production platform. This project, like 'Artificial Awakening', centres on artificial intelligence as a filmmaking tool. Read more at idfa.nl.