Photo: Thanassi Karageorgiou

Sensory Stories: An Exhibition of New Narrative Experiences

April 18–July 26, 2015
In the Amphitheater Gallery and additional spaces

Sparked by recent developments in digital technology, companies and creators are exploring ways to extend storytelling beyond traditional screens. Sensory Stories invites visitors to encounter new immersive technologies and creative experiments that engage sight, hearing, touch, and smell. These virtual reality experiences, interactive films, participatory installations, and speculative interfaces offer insights into a possible future where stories engage more of our bodies than just our eyes and ears. 

Conceived and organized by Future of StoryTelling

Presenting Sponsor: Phi Centre
Creative Direction: Sub Rosa

Note to Visitors: 
Access to the virtual reality experiences (Herders, Clouds Over Sidra, Evolution of Verse, Way to Go) requires timed tickets on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  Timed tickets are also required from 10:30 to 3:00 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please visit the admissions desk to obtain your tickets. 

Birdly (2014/2015), a bird-flight simulator that allows the user to fly over Manhattan with a virtual reality rig, was part of the exhibition from April 30 through June 7. It was created by Max Rheiner and the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland, with Thomas Tobler and Fabian Troxler, and presented at Museum of the Moving Image by swissnex Boston. For more information about Birdly, please visit  

1979 Revolution Game (2015) »
By Ink Stories (Navid Khonsari and Vassiliki Khonsari) Produced by Jeff Birns, Jason Schreiber, Andres Perez-Duarte, and Adam Neuhas. Experience the Iranian political upheaval of the late 1970s as young photojournalist Reza, making life-or-death decisions in a game of personal betrayal and social disorder.
Bear 71 (2012) »
By Leanne Allison, Jeremy Mendes, and the NFB Digital Studio Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. A 20-minute interactive film, Bear 71 tells the story of a female grizzly bear in Banff National Park, dubbed Bear 71 by the park rangers who radio-collar and track her.
Clouds Over Sidra (2015) »
By Gabo Arora and Chris Milk Directed and Produced by Gabo Arora and Barry Pousman. Produced by Presented in partnership with the United Nations. Commissioned by the United Nations, Clouds Over Sidra was created at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Twelve-year-old Sidra leads the user around the camp, home to 84,000 Syrian refugees, as she goes about her day.
Dark Room Sex Game (2012/2015) »
by Copenhagen Game Collective An erotic rhythm game played with a partner using only sound and touch.
Evolution of Verse (2015) »
By Chris Milk Presented by Annapurna Pictures, Digital Domain 3.0, and The inaugural virtual reality film from director Chris Milk’s production company VRSE, Evolution of Verse nods at cinematic landmarks by the Lumière Brothers and Stanley Kubrick, and takes viewers on a photo-realistic, CGI-rendered journey.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Smelly Version (2015) »
By Melcher Media and Vapor Communications Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Smelly Version retells the classic story with the addition of the oPhone, a device that emits scents at key points in the story. The scents are activated by the oBook and transmitted through a small cartridge called the oChip, a technology designed for adding aromas to e-mail, text messages, songs, and films.
Untitled on Google Cube (2014) »
By Google’s Creative Lab, Sydney and Semi-Permanent Directed by Steve Ayson and Damien Shatford. Produced by the Sweet Shop. Google Cube is an experimental interface for interactive films. In Untitled, viewers navigate among six plots mapped to the six sides of the Cube. The stories, which range from tales of rebirth to tragedy, unfold simultaneously; turn the Cube to discover how they connect.
Herders (2014) »
By Félix and Paul Studios (Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael) Félix & Paul’s live-action virtual reality experiences investigate the small details of everyday life. Herders offers a meditative look at a community of nomadic yak herders in Mongolia through a series of scenes presented in single takes, including a man playing the harp, herders at work, and a family eating together.
Hidden Stories (2015) »
By Red Paper Heart Sonic IDs by Jay Allison and Viki Merrick (Atlantic Public Media and WCAI in Woods Hole, MA) Hidden Stories presents 22 first-person anecdotes, each represented by an illustration on the wall. The stories are Sonic IDs, originally created for radio as interstitial station ID breaks that feature the voices of people from the listening community. Pressing a “cone” to an illustration allows the user to hear a tale; the user may also leave their own story.
John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes (2013) »
By Michael Epstein and Mark Thompson with Design I/O and eyeball, for the charity WhyHunger. The Bermuda Tapes follows John Lennon on his life-changing 1980 journey through a mid-Atlantic storm to Bermuda. Hand-drawn animations, documentary-style audio narratives, and playful interactive elements create an impressionistic telling of his adventure.
Mimicry (2012) »
By Emilie Tappolet (Apelab) and Raphael Munoz (Aprobado) with the University of Art and Design, Geneva Mimicry consists of two works—Le Petit Baptiste and Le Voyageur Contemplant une Mer du Nuages— that at first appear to be static images but actually reflect the movements and expressions of their onlookers.
Parade (2014) »
By Dpt. X Laurent Craste Produced by Dpt. Ceramics by Laurent Craste. 3-D Modeling by Mohannad AlKatib. 3-D Animation by Sébastien Léger. Parade is an interactive sculpture. Swinging a hanging lamp activates the shadows of two vases. The resulting scene unfolds as a dance or as combat. What appears as shadows are actually a video created in real time to match the movement of the lamp, which is detected by a Kinect sensor.
Possibilia (2014) »
By DANIELS (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert) Presented by Xbox Entertainment Studios. Produced by PRETTYBIRD in collaboration with Interlude In Possibilia, a man and a woman are having a fight directed by you. This interactive short film, starring Alex Karpovsky (Girls) and Zoe Jarman (The Mindy Project), lets you determine the tone and actions of a couple breaking up.
Pry (2014) »
By Tender Claws (Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro) In Pry, follow Gulf War veteran James as he struggles with traumatic memories, using physical gestures to uncover text and video that reveal his experiences.
Way to Go (2015) »
By Vincent Morisset with Philippe Lambert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit, and Caroline Robert. Produced by Hugues Sweeney and Boris Razon in association with the National Film Board of Canada. Way to Go is a playable film that rewards the curious on a walk through a mysterious, colorful, 3-D forest.
Welcome to Pine Point (2011/2015) »
By the Goggles (Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge) and the NFB Digital Studio Vancouver. Produced by The National Film Board of Canada. Pine Point was a mining town in Northwest Canada that was abandoned when its mine closed. This interactive web documentary brings Pine Point back to life using interviews, photographs, text, and home videos to construct a digital scrapbook of the town.