Park City, UT — Sundance Institute today announced the artists and projects to be featured in the 2012 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival. New Frontier is a social and creative space designed to enrich the festival environment and expand cinema culture by showcasing media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia experiences and panel discussions that explore the convergence of art, technology and storytelling. 2012 will mark the sixth year of New Frontier, which is curated by Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer. A preview is available at

New for 2012, New Frontier has moved to The Yard (1251 Kearns Blvd.) in Park City. It will co-exhibit at the Salt Lake Art Center (20 South West Temple) for the second year. Both the Park City and Salt Lake City locations will be open to the general public Friday, January 20 through Saturday, January 28. Admission is free. After the Festival, New Frontier remains in place at the Salt Lake Art Center through May 19.

“In many ways, New Frontier represents the next generation of artistic expression,” said Robert Redford, Founder and President of Sundance Institute. “I am fascinated by its ability to both keep pace with and drive innovations in technology. Our hope is that its exploration of the critical issues of our time inspires people to consider what storytelling might look and feel like decades from now, and that they continue that line of thinking well beyond their time at the Festival.” 

Frilot elaborates on the 2012 showcase, entitled ‘Future Normal’: “As we integrate electronic media deeper into our lives, we become part of a bioelectric architecture where cinematic stories are exchanged and collectively produced through interactive participation. The technologically inspired works by 2012 New Frontier artists, filmmakers, journalists, game designers and media scientists expand screen culture and nourish the cornerstones of our humanity – our vulnerability, our social nature, and our creativity.”

“Our New Frontier initiative began at the Festival and this year grew to include our first New Frontier Story Lab, providing creative support for artists working within this realm,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “It is significant that one project selected for the New Frontier program at the Festival was also supported by our New Frontier Story Lab. We look forward to introducing Festival audiences to Question Bridge: Black Males, by Chris Johnson & Hank Willis Thomas.”

The artists and projects selected for the New Frontier program at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival are:


Bear 71
Artists: Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison (Canada)
Produced by Loc Dao and Rob McLaughlin at the National Film Board of Canada
Multiplayer Online Game

Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison’s poignant interactive documentary about a bear in the Canadian Rockies illuminates the way humans engage with wildlife in the age of networks, satellites and digital surveillance. Audiences from around the world can use their smartphones to roam an interactive forest environment rich with bears, cougars, sheep, deer and people as they follow an emotional story of a grizzly bear tagged and monitored by Banff National Park rangers.

Jeremy Mendes is a Vancouver based artist with 10 years experience in interactive production including the award winning

Leanne Allison is a documentary filmmaker who has won environmental and Gemini awards for her film Being Caribou.

Loc Dao and Rob McLaughlin formed the interactive team at the NFB and co-created CBC Radio 3. Loc currently heads up the team and oversees all English interactive works at the NFB. The NFB’s recent interactive work includes and which have garnered over 20 awards, including four Webby, one Digital Emmy, three Communications Arts and one Gemini Awards.

The Cloud of Unknowing
Artist: Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore)
Multimedia Installation
Commissioned by the National Arts Council, Singapore for the Singapore Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan for MAM Project #16

The boundary between viewer and art dissolves altogether in Ho Tzu Nyen’s sublime work, The Cloud of Unknowing. Step inside and find a comfortable space in the room. A narrative unfolds on a screen, a story set in a public housing complex in Singapore, where eight characters in eight apartments individually encounter a cloud, embodied both as a figure and a vaporous mist. The film is rear-projected on a screen with a complex soundtrack and synchronized steam machines to create a seamless and sublimely atmospheric sense of film/audience permeability.

Ho Tzu Nyen makes art projects that have been presented in cinemas, galleries and theatres, as well as on television. Most recently, he had a one-man exhibition at the Singapore Pavilion for the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). His first feature film, Here, premiered at the 41st Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival (2009). In the same year, his medium length film, Earth, premiered at the 66th Venice International Film Festival (2009).

Evolution (Megaplex)
Artist: Marco Brambilla (U.S.A.)
3D Media Installation

In this magnificent, large-scale, stereoscopic, 3-D video collage, media artist Marco Brambilla unscrolls a mural depicting the history of humankind. Brambilla illustrates sweeping movements of world conflict by seamlessly remixing hundreds of individual channels of looped video gathered from Hollywood’s blockbuster films. Evolution (Megaplex) whimsically reframes humanity’s great moments while casting a satirical look at the bombast of the big-budget “epic.”

Marco Brambilla is a Milan-born, New York-based video artist whose work has been exhibited in major private and public collections including the Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. In May 2011, Brambilla’s first major retrospective of his video installation work opened at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

Hunger in Los Angeles
Artist: Nonny de la Peña (U.S.A.)
Immersive Game Environment

Former Newsweek correspondent Nonny de la Peña is developing a groundbreaking brand of journalism that offers a fully immersive experience into news reporting. Focused on calling attention to the growing issue of hunger in the United States, Hunger in Los Angeles recreates an eyewitness account of a crisis on a food-bank line at the First Unitarian Church. De la Peña uses game-development tools, Unity 3-D, a body-tracking system and a head-mounted goggle display, along with live audio she collected during the incident, to construct a fully immersive, simulated world where audiences can suit up, walk around and interact with other characters in the scene.

This project was commissioned by USC Annenberg School of Communications & Journalism in conjunction with MxR Lab, a joint lab between USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies and The School of Cinematic Arts.

Nonny de la Peña is a pioneer in the area of immersive journalism, a novel way to utilize gaming platforms and virtual environments to convey first person experience and presence in news and documentaries. A graduate of Harvard University, she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with twenty years of journalism experience. De la Peña is also behind, an award-winning online collaborative video editing platform with users in 126 countries.

My Generation
Artists: Eva & Franco Mattes a.k.a. 0100101110101101.ORG (U.S.A., Italy)
Media Sculpture

Hilarious and embarrassingly relevant, My Generation recreates the epic biomechanical failure that players experience when technology breaks down during a computer game and their expectations of gratification are frustrated. An annihilated computer is strewn across the floor but still burns brightly with clips of young people freaking out because technical problems prevent them from playing their favorite computer games. My Generation is a revealing reminder of how much human beings have come to depend on the media technology that surrounds them.

Eva and Franco Mattes are the artist-provocateurs behind the website Since 1994 they have lived a nomadic life throughout Europe and the US. Renowned for their masterful subversions of public media, their work is precariously balanced on the edge of legal, ethical and social boundaries. Their art has been featured at the Venice Biennale, the Walker Art Center, Manifesta, the New Museum, Collection Lambert, PS1, Performa and Santa Fe Biennial.