Virtual reality makes films an immersive experience


“Hearts and Minds” is based on interviews with American soldiers who conducted interrogations during their service in Iraq.

Two new films will be presented Tuesday that use cutting-edge computer visualization resources to give viewers an immersive experience unlike any other.

“Hearts and Minds, The Interrogation Project” and “Toxi*City” will be shown in the Electronic Visualization Lab, located in the Engineering Research Facility.

“Hearts and Minds” will be shown in the EVL’s 3-D immersive Cave2.

Based on interviews with U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq who were involved in interrogations and torture, the interactive narrative places the viewer in an environment that juxtaposes ordinary, everyday objects with the surreal landscape of a strange land.

“Hearts and Minds” brings home the impact of these experiences on ordinary young men and women.

“Toxi•City” uses the EVL’s tiled interactive display wall to tell stories of a world where climate change has made severe weather an everyday occurrence.

The film threads true stories of people who died in Hurricane Sandy into a speculative story of seven people who struggle to survive in a future world devastated by hurricanes and the release of buried toxins.

Each viewing experience is different — an algorithm generates a new narrative from a combination of possible scenarios and events.

The films will be shown 3 to 5 p.m. June 17 and 4 to 6 p.m. July 7. The screenings are free and open to the public, but reservations are required at

The showings are organized by the Electronic Literature Organization, the UIC School of Design and the EVL.

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