Home > CSC Immersive Arts: a unique hub in Europe dedicated to immersive arts launched in Venice
CSC Immersive Arts: a unique hub in Europe dedicated to immersive arts launched in Venice
Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia
September 11, 2023

A project of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia supported by NRRP grants and the Veneto Region

In a period in history that sees immersive arts and technologies asserting themselves in both the European and international markets, the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia and the Veneto Region have joined forces to establish a new innovative hub, CSC Immersive Arts, on the San Servolo Island in Venice. Its educational curriculum, the result of a programme agreement signed a year ago with the Veneto Region Education Department, aims to explore and delve into the possible applications of Extended Reality through the study of their evolution, the most important trends that characterize them, and their unexploited potential in order to intercept the nature of a still developing sector and to interact with its growth. Deeply convinced that theory and practice complement the development of an all-round professionalism, CSC Immersive Arts is going to propose a unique educational offer, aimed at combining these two aspects.

The director of studies of the new hub, Sara Tirelli, declared, “I am very satisfied with the hugely positive feedback we got after announcing the launch of CSC Immersive Arts on September 4 during the VPB (Venice Production Bridge) programme, within the Immersive section of the Venice Film Festival, which confirms the quality of the educational proposal but also proves that on the Italian and European scene there is a strong need for a centre of research and production entirely dedicated to Immersive Arts. At the same time, this is an opportunity to demonstrate that the city of Venice is not only a beautiful stage, but also a creative hotbed to experiment with the contemporary practices of the moving image.”

XR technologies have already proved their enormous potential in the audio-visual and performing arts industry, one that should pay particular attention to picking up emerging jobs and to nurturing professionalized talents capable of dealing with the immersive language from a new angle that manages to combine humanities and creative, technical, social, and managerial disciplines. Existing curricula tend to perpetuate a separation between technical and theoretical classes, thus reiterating the distance between education systems and the needs of the audio-visual and performance arts market.

CSC Immersive Arts intends to bridge this gap and create a dialogue between study tracks, uniting theory and practice. Interdisciplinarity is to become the keyword of the educational offer proposed by the new hub of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, that aims for a high-level international curriculum and means to respond to the emerging scenarios of the audio-visual and performance arts sector, supporting its innovation and experimentation processes.

Goals. The French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that, when a technical instrument is used by an artistic will, it is virtually invented anew. CSC Immersive Arts, meaning to bridge the existing gap between artistic and technical direction, aims to become a training, research, and production centre to support the community of professionals, a think-tank of inception, reflection, and production for artists, developers, philosophers, and researchers. The CSC Immersive Arts curriculum is a unique example in the Italian territory because it gives the opportunity to explore the inherent relationship between artistic practice and technological research, promoting experimentation of languages and aesthetics in an exceptional context, i.e., the city of Venice. Establishing the first centre in Italy dedicated to Immersive Arts precisely in Venice is more than a symbolic action, as it expresses the willingness to make Venice an avant-garde centre of artistic and cinematic experimentation in the new and most recent immersive technologies.

Headquarters and technological innovations. CSC Immersive Arts is headquartered in the San Servolo Island, whose name has been tied to education and training programmes for years. The CSC Immersive Arts Hub covers an area of nearly 700 square mt. Classrooms for lectures, presentations, and plenary sessions, a book library and a media library, multimedia workshops, and individual workspaces are located on the first floor. The ground floor holds a recording and audio-listening studio unprecedented in Italy. This was possible thanks to the acquisition of a certified Atmos system and of an immersive sound acoustic design dedicated to listening.

The nearly 140-square mt. adjacent space will be provided with latest-generation sound-capture systems, including volumetric video and motion capture recording. When needed, this space can also serve as an exhibition venue for the presentation of end-of-course projects as well as a showcase for creative and technological leaders from the emerging international XR scene. The CSC Immersive Arts technological equipment, which will include the first volumetric capture and immersive sound studio of its kind in the Veneto Region, will also be made available for external professionals.

The curriculum. The CSC Immersive Arts curriculum is divided into two main educational proposals: Residency, a one-year programme to be launched in Spring 2024, and Labs, intensive workshops to begin in Fall 2023.

The mission of the Residency is to promote the dialogue and collaboration between artistic direction and technical direction through two main curricula, i.e., Creator (Inception, design, and production in the field of expanded cinema, animation, interactive digital art, sound, and immersive performance) and Creative Technologist (Technical Direction and production in the field of expanded cinema, animation, interactive digital art, sound, and immersive performance).

The Labs for professionals are going to start in the late Fall 2023. The duration is max. 40 hours of activities (5 days). The new venue will be inaugurated with a workshop for Italian film producers who are interested in acquiring the skills to enter the market of XR works production as well as free refresher training courses for local labour (technicians of the entertainment industry) with the goal of providing the region’s industry professionals with new skills.

Here is a sample of the educational assortment on offer at CSC Immersive Arts Labs: Immersive Production and Distribution, for Film Industry Producers and Distributors; Expanding Spatial Narratives, for Professionals of the Art and Culture Industry; Spaces for Performance, for Artists and Professionals of the Performance Arts Industry; Immersive Journalism, for Professionals in the field of Journalism; Immersive Filmmaking, for Professionals of the Film Industry; Immersive Environment Design, for Professionals of the Architecture and Design Industry; Focus on volumetric capture, for Professionals of the Film, Architecture, and Performance Arts Industry; Focus on Photorealistic Environment, for Professionals of the Film, Architecture, Performance Arts, and Cultural Heritage Industry; Game Engine, for Professionals of the Film, Architecture, and Performance Arts Industry; Immersive Technology Applied to Psychotherapy and Wellness, for Professionals of the Psychology and Education fields.

CSC Immersive Arts A Center for the Expanded Moving Image
San Servolo Island, Venice, Italy
Email: sara.tirelli@fondazionecsc.it

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