Seniors create interactive art piece for Springfest

first_img“I saw that the potential for [augmented reality] to fundamentally change live music is a really potent opportunity,” Lindsay said. “One that was inevitably going to take place which, for me, was very exciting.” Creative director Cam Lindsay, a senior in the Iovine and Young Academy, said the game will be like a combination of “Guitar Hero” and “Dance Dance Revolution.” “Everything we are doing here is all about the magic that happens in a live music setting ,where you’re on the same page with everyone around you about the experience you’re having and the incredible stuff that can only happen from being at that space at that time with the people that are there,” Fishman said. According to Concerts Committee co-director Kira Stiers, the committee has previously tried to implement VR at Springfest. Stiers said that in the past, vendors were either not interested in the live-music experience, or the committee was unable to afford it. Lindsay said acquiring funding for the project was a challenge when they first began attempting to implement it. The headsets for the installation cost nearly $3,000. The team needs four headsets for the installation along with several projectors, large architectural installations and a team to assemble the entire experience. To cover this cost while also hosting the most optimized experience, the team is launching a crowdfunding effort Tuesday. “We’re working with a large team … our job is to provide a platform and a space and an environment for these creative individuals to come together and do their best work,” Fishman said. “At the same time, we need to ensure creative vision over the entire thing and make sure each team is working together and communicating and that there is a unified design aesthetic between everything.” Augmented reality is an interactive experience that uses sensory modules to superimpose information into a user’s surroundings, including geometric shapes or other objects that aren’t physically there. Perhaps the most popular use of augmented reality is the mobile game “Pokémon Go,” in which users can see a Pokémon in the surrounding real-world environment on their phone screen. “If we get [$10,000], this will be an incredible Springfest,” Lindsay said. “If we get [$7,000], it will be a great Springfest. If we don’t get either, we’ll just make do.” Lindsay has been working on this installation for his senior capstone project, along with senior Jacob Fishman, the project’s production director. “We launched it at a show, learned insane amounts and brought it to five more shows with that artist,” Fishman said. Fishman and Lindsay previously created an augmented reality installation for a live concert, where guests could play with geometric shapes wearing headsets soundtracked to an unreleased song by the artist.   “I think this is a great opportunity to highlight why USC is a fundamentally different school than any other school out there,” Lindsay said. “There are opportunities within the school to bring together so many disciplines into something that’s so cohesive, like Springfest … I believe [it] is truly a Trojan strength.” Iovine and Young Academy seniors Cam Lindsay (left) and Jacob Fishman (right) created an augmented reality experience for this year’s Springfest on March 30. (Photo courtesy of Merciv) While virtual reality is tailored for one user’s experience, augmented reality allows multiple people to interact with the same objects or game simultaneously and creates more social experiences. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students from eight of the USC professional schools, as well as a small group of UCLA students, are collaborating on the project. The augmented reality installation will take place at McCarthy Quad and will feature a large, geometric dome that houses a multiplayer augmented reality game surrounded by three other art pieces. More details for Springfest will be released at the beginning of March. Lindsay and Fishman act as middlemen to foster communication between the various clubs and organizations contributing to the project, each of which comes from a different background and institution. Springfest will install an augmented reality art piece created by students at this year’s festival on March 30.   The two students also co-founded a company called Merciv in 2017. According to Lindsay, Merciv is an experimental design enterprise that integrates live music experiences with immersive technology. “We never really had all the ducks in a row to get it to happen, but it’s been something we’ve been interested in for many years now,” said Stiers, a senior majoring in international relations and political science. “We do want our shows to be more interactive. We don’t want them to be photo-ops for people.” last_img

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