Past events

DocLab Live: Bloodless – Guided by the Ghost of a Korean Sex Worker 25 Nov 2017 at 17:00

Special presentation on VR installation Bloodless, in which director Gina Kim and guests discuss the influence of American military presence on the South Korean people since 1956.

DocLab Live: Order, Chaos and Everything 21 Nov 2017 at 20:00

Join Jonathan Harris on a secular pilgrimage: from physical reality to the chaos of YouTube, and a digital simulation of consciousness.

Industry Session: Making VR Work for Audiences 20 Nov 2017 at 10:00

Zillah Watson, Commissioning Editor for Virtual Reality at the BBC, on how to make VR work for audiences.

more events

HIGHRISE: Universe Within

This multimedia project explores the lives of city dwellers and shows how online communities can shape the physical world.

More than half of the global population is now living in cities. Especially in larger cities, most of these people reside in apartments. The population density may be particularly high, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people get to know each other – or have any contact at all, for that matter. The vertical city often lacks a sense of community. While Katerina Cizek was making a documentary about people living in a Toronto apartment building, it struck her that most city dwellers go online to stay in contact with other people; their social arena is the Internet. Working in collaboration with academics, technicians and locals, she developed the project into a multimedia experience entitled HIGHRISE. The culmination of this work is Universe Within, in which citizens of Toronto, Mumbai and Singapore talk about how social media, email and Skype are impacting their physical existence. These technologies often have a constructive influence, showing that social media exert real social effects. We see people living in an apartment block join together to lobby for a children’s playground, and to take action against developers when their home is threatened with demolition. But many of the interviewees are realistic about the shortcomings of exclusively virtual contact – it’s no substitute for human contact or a face-to-face conversation.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Universe Within: Digital Lives in the Global Highrise (Walkthrough) from National Film Board of Canada on Vimeo.

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Kat Cizek
With:National Film Board of Canada

Available formats