Exquisite Vessel: Portable and collective immersive cinema experiences

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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The main focus of this thesis is the first episode for the project ‘Exquisite Vessel’. This project is a transmedia narrative using different audiovisual media techniques such as portable fulldome immersive cinema and multichannel surround audio. This first episode of Exquisite Vessel consists in an immersive short-film that lasts seven minutes and deals with the topic of death and our perceptions of it. In this thesis, immersive cinema is defined and analysed in connection to portable and collective immersive media. The portable and collective aspects of the project have been very important in all of the author’s creative decisions. The installation for the project uses a portable dome to show the immersive short-film. The public space is used for the installation display to openly invite people to join in the experience. The project idea started with something that happened in the life of the author: his father’s near death experience in the spring of 2016 and how this extreme experience shaped his father’s life perceptions afterwards. The author wanted to reflect on existential questions and tell a story reflecting on death and life. The actor Celso de la Molina collaborated with his own poetry and life experiences connected to the topic of death. ‘Exquisite Vessel’ uses spherical mirror projection techniques invented by Paul Bourke and the software VUO is used for image warping and installation control. The installation uses a small 155 cm portable geodesic dome made of Polypropylene plastic (PP) and two people can experience it at a time. The dome uses a four speakers setup for extra aural immersion. There have been four different public tests of the installation, one in Ostrobothnia, Finland and three in Valencia, Spain. With all the creative and research process the author has learnt what improvements the project needs for future shows. There is also a VR version of the video using the VR180 3D format for people not being able to attend the shows, the video can be found in the Youtube VR app.
Niinimäki, Matti
Thesis advisor
Best, Andy
Niinimäki, Matti
immersive cinema, fulldome cinema, geodesic dome, portable media, collective media, VR180 3D, surround sound, public space art
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