Vernacular Volumetric

Vernacular Volumetric is a research-creation project that uses speculative design to explore how volumetric video recording might look as a mundane future technology. It is part of a larger research investigation into the techno-social entanglements surrounding hybrid captured images.

The project seeks to envision and investigate the future of digital capture technologies in the creation, understanding, and use of everyday images. The project considers:

  1. How social and vernacular practices may impact volumetric capture
  2. The key affordances of a volumetric image
  3. The opportunities and challenges for this technology in relation to broader adoption and use
  4. How this technology may be appropriated and subverted by amateur practitioners

Vernacular Volumetric is a pilot project intended to develop into a broader scale research agenda exploring digital capture.

Hybrid image capture practices, including volumetric capture, are becoming increasingly common. Such projects showcase the incredible potential for this mode of computationally-enhanced capture, but also present a number of emerging issues. These technologies are, for the most part, restricted to technologically-savvy and well-funded art technologists, with the most common path of exploration being high-end production. Additionally, the rapid adoption and development of this technology has not been accompanied by a substantive reflective practice or analysis. Important questions remain with regard to our understanding and relationships to these images, and what this technology might look like upon wider consumer adoption.

Vernacular Volumetric is an initial exploration into hybrid image capture technology, specifically volumetric video recording, as it might look as a mundane future technology. The project examines the future of everyday hybrid image capture in the shift from professional to consumer adoption, with a specific focus on future vernacular (everyday) practices in the context of post-photographic discourse. This work project is also contextualized within discourse surrounding image creation, reception, and everyday use.

Using speculative scenarios, Vernacular Volumetric creates a series of small-scale image prototypes using volumetric capture. This series serves as a prompt for further discussion and research development in hybrid image capture technologies and practices. The project utilizes speculative design, a discursive approach which focuses on using the design process as a tool for envisioning and interrogating potential design futures. 

This research caters to a growing interest in the impact of emerging technology on approaches to non-fiction media production. It forms the basis for a broader examination of how digital technologies impact capture practices, and helps ensure that the development and conceptualization of hybrid image technology is not limited to high-end approaches and can instead be engaged by diverse socio-cultural practices.

Image prototype using volumetric capture: two views from different angles of a figure standing in a rectangular prism
Photograph of the team working in the lab, two people discussing content of a large computer screen amidst notes
Friday, November 24, 2017 - 12:00pm
Lab Member: 
Cindy Poremba

Faculty of Design Speaker Series: Rafael Fajardo: Reflective Play

Rafael Fajardo
Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 11:30pm

The Faculty of Design is pleased to present a free public talk by Rafael Fajardo, founder of SWEAT, as part of its annual speaker series.

Rafael Fajardo: 'Reflective Play: Exploring the Creation of Games and Toys to Raise Consciousness and Stimulate Thinking'

Rafael Fajardo is the founder of SWEAT, a loose collaborative that makes socially conscious video games. SWEAT has published two video games, Crosser and La Migra, that comment on the game-like nature of (il)legal human traffic at the US/Mexico border. SWEAT is currently working on a game, set in Colombia, which explores the effects of the culture of drug agriculture. This game, Juan & the Beanstalk, has been released as playable fragments. SWEAT's games have been exhibited internationally. Fajardo also teaches at the University of Denver where he is an associate professor of Electronic Media Arts Design and the Director of Digital Media Studies. With his colleague Scott Leutenegger he has overseen the creation of Squeezed, a videogame, co-sponsored by mtvU that comments on the lives of (im)migrant farm workers in the US. With Dr. Leutenegger and with Dr. Debra Austin he has received a multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the teaching of videogames as a holistic pedagogy in high schools.

Presented with the generous support of M.C. McCain.

On February 27, the Faculty of Design Speaker Series presents Tali Krakowsky, Director of Experience Design for Imaginary Forces.

All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Presentations take place in the OCAD Auditorium at 100 McCaul Street, Toronto. Limited seating available; guests are advised to arrive early.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario