XR Program 2022-23

We are excited to announce the return of the New Works XR Program. Centering artists with an embodied practice, New Works XR encourages new voices in the development of creative technology.  Building on our XR Pilot, this year’s program will support a group of dance and movement based artists interested in integrating extended reality (XR) technologies into their existing movement practices through workshops, mentorship, and residencies. 

XR (extended reality) is an umbrella term encompassing augmented (AR), virtual (VR), and mixed reality technologies. Supported by Mitacs and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, New Works XR is in partnership with New Media Gallery and a team of consulting artists and technologists working at the intersection of performance and XR technologies.

The program provides support for dance makers and embodied practitioners in the early stages of creation involving technologies that fall under the umbrella of XR. The XR Program will resource the development of up to 4 XR projects with skills building workshops, mentorship with senior artists, consultation with technologists, access to gear and studio space, and XR resource sharing.  

The New Works XR Program will place a focus on process, research, and capacity building. Participants will have the opportunity to work closely with the New Works team and XR mentors to develop their project. Participants will engage in one-on-one consultations with New Work’s XR network (including the New Works team, mentors, workshop facilitators and technologists), and learn alongside peer artists. Participants will gain sustainable skills and knowledge over the course of the 8 week residency. 

A final product or presentation is not intended as part of this year’s program, however, there will be the opportunity to share in-progress work with audiences at the culmination of the residency.

Meet the Team

Gemma Crowe (XR Program Director) is a new media artist and recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s full-residency MFA program. Crowe holds a bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance and has ten years of professional experience in filmmaking and video art, which influences how she approaches an audience of viewers and listeners. Her thesis research is concerned with the illusory potential of sound and the sensory apprehension of movement. Crowe received Canada Council and British Columbia Arts Council funding for her research into spatial sound and the bodily experience as well as a research award through Emily Carr University. Crowe completed a residency at Lobe Studio working with world-class 4DSOUND spatial sound software and delivered a presentation on embodied sonic design at the 2022 International Seminar on Sonic Design. Crowe will continue her research in embodiment, virtual theory, and audience perception in her role as New Works XR Program Director.

Sierra Megas (XR Program Manager) is an emerging artist and arts administrator living and working on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam (xʷməθkwəy̓əm), Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaɬ) Nations. She has experience with production assistance, front of house management, educational and community programming, administration, and outreach. She is grateful to have worked with Here For Now, Vancouver New Music, The Dance Centre, New Works, Still Moon Arts Society, and EDAM Dance – where she is currently serving as Equity Program Coordinator. Supporting artists is at the centre of her work and brings her great joy.

2023 Program Artists

Sarah Hin Ching U 余衍晴 (she/her) is a Chinese-Canadian emerging dancer, choreographer, and creator in live, digital and multimedia performances. My main intention is to create performance experiences that are engaging, reflective and community-oriented. I gravitate towards stories in human desire, identity, relationship; and is grounded in experiences that have touched me deeply and personally. Collaboration is essential to my practice, and I prioritize hosting and creating space to share knowledge and skills in between, and outside of art forms.

My work has been presented by National Arts Centre, Capsule: Video series (Ottawa), The Dance Centre (Vancouver), NewWorks (Vancouver), DanceWorks (Toronto), Impulse Theatre (Victoria, BC), Free Flow Dance Theatre (Saskatoon), SpringWorks (Ontario) among others.  In 2022, I received the Professional Performing Artist Award from BC Arts Council and is 1 of the 3 annual Artist-In-Residence at ArtStarts Gallery. Other notable performing credits include Dancing on the Edge Festival 2019 with Danse Carpe Diem/Emmanuel Jouthe (Montreal); Nuit Blanche 2021 with Jackie Latendresse (Saskatoon); and Dancing on the Edge Festival 2022 with Kylah Powell (Vancouver). I hold a BFA in dance and kinesiology from Simon Fraser University.

I use a lowercase “d” because I desire to navigate the world by easing into spaces. I go by my full name to acknowledge my maternal lineage.

danielle Mackenzie Long, a queer emerging contemporary dance artist and filmmaker, resides on the stolen and unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations. Fascinated by moments of mundanity, danielle reimagines what simplicity is and isn’t throughout their interdisciplinary artistic practice, to better understand their ever-evolving identity. danielle is currently an artistic intern with “Vancouver” based new media collective Chimerik. They are simultaneously expanding their interdisciplinary practice through various studies at the University of British Columbia after having graduated from Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program under the direction of Tiffany Tregarthen, David Raymond and Kate Franklin. In 2021 they were a commissioned artist for the 6th annual Festival of Recorded Movement (F-O-R-M). Their work has been presented internationally at Birmingham International Dance Festival, and within Canada at Capsule (in partnership with National Arts Centre/F-O-R-M), Digit Carnival Z, Screen:Moves, NextFest, IGNITE! and F-O-R-M. danielle is fascinated by bike mechanics, and hopes to build a bike one day.

James Albers is an emerging artist, curator, writer, organizer, performer, and drag artist based on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. They recently graduated from the department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver with a double major in Visual Arts and Art History. During their final year, they were the Assistant Director of the Hatch Art Gallery, UBC’s only student run art space. Conceptually, their practice often adopts collaborative and community oriented approaches as they see this as a productive way to subvert singular and limited perspectives within artistic spaces and worlds. James is interested in exploring the queer potentials of revisionist histories and chooses to believe in the magic of fiction. Recently, James has been thinking through the truth that a perfect lie may hold.

Simran Sachar (she/her) is a Canadian East Indian/Punjabiexperimental contemporary and street dance artist, and writer. Simran deeply prides herself in experimentation through versatility and is currently interested in the value of memories, imagination, and our deepest desires shaping our own unique dance. Simran’s versatility has allowed her to train and perform in multiple shows across the Philippines, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. She prides herself on being an open minded melting pot working in Film/TV, contemporary spaces, street dance spaces, teaching youth of all levels, and producing her own work. Simran is in the process of her most recent work with XR technology, titled “Mere Andar.” Her film entitled: “No Alarms” was chosen to be presented for “Isol-art,” by Teddy Tedholm and Sara Richman. In 2020, her first film “LUNACY” premiered at FORM Film Festival and won the Official Selection of the 2020 Audience Choice Award. Simran’s interest in XR and dance research sparked from her wanting to enter another realm, and because we physically cannot, she’s decided to create one through imagination and memories, using dance to step into it. She is excited to further her experience and learn about all the possibilities and limitations of different XR mediums. 

In the Community

New Works XR Program is championed and supported by an exceptional community of artists and arts organizations.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

New Media Gallery

Boca del Lupo

PXR Conference 2022

Ian Garrett

Jacob Niedzwiecki

New Works XR Program 2022-23 is supported by: