2017 Outdoor Vision Fest

Yvette Serrano, a junior Communication Design major, sits in the grass beside a hollowed-out twin mattress. Serrano enforces the mattress frame so it can stand up straight. She intends to project an image on each side to act as a vigil to a recent tragedy in Guatemala in which several dozen young girls died while protesting the living conditions of their orphanage. “To get the attention of the guards, they set their mattress on fire,” she explains. “But the guards wouldn’t let them out, and they burned to death.” Serrano intends to project images of mourning and fire onto the mattress. “I want to bring attention to what happened.”

Yvette Serrano a Studio Arts major works on her piece fort Outdoor Vision Fest. Photo by Jesus Trujillo.

The sun has started to set, and the students at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design add finishing touches to their installments for the second rehearsal night of the 2017 Outdoor Vision Fest. OVF is SFUAD’s annual end of the Spring semester event in which students of every department design and conduct a variety of interactive and visual installments, including the Creatiuve Writing program which is constructing a forest of words. The event, while supervised, is student developed and features cutting-edge and architectural media. OVF is open to the community and will have on-site food trucks to complete the evening.

Each year, OVF features new and exhilarating ways to experience the exhibits. Following the trend of Pokemon Go and social media filters, this year’s OVF will include smartphone options. “By downloading the BLIPPAR app on their phone, visitors will be able to experience several augmented reality installations,” Terry Borst says. Borst is a professor of the Film department at SFUAD and a lead coordinator of OVF. “Through the app, people can unlock secret content as they explore.”

Film instructor Terry Borst, sits down next to some of the equipment being used for Outdoor Vision Fest. Photo by Jesus Trujillo.

Augmented reality isn’t the only new technology taking over OVF. The event will also include a 360-degree VR experience with simple oculus devices for guests to wear. The featured footage will also be available on YouTube after the event for people to enjoy at home with their own virtual reality headsets. There will also holograms and a Rubens’ Tube on site, a tube that is filled with fire-producing jets that guests can interact with. “It’s real fire,” Borst says. “But it will be safe. We promise.”For some students, like Leah Naxon, a junior Studio Arts major, OVF is a chance to experiment with different mediums on a large scale. Naxon will be showing off a textile piece that combines physical fabric with the image of fabric. “I had this inspiration for white T-shirts floating in tulle,” Naxon says. “White is a platform to play with color.” For her installation, Naxon will be projecting the rinse cycle of a washing machine onto a bundle of sheer fabric. For her, the exhibit is about providing a unique visual experience.

Other students, like Kelvin Duval, a senior Film Production major, want to send a message to their viewers. Duval has had work featured in OVF for the last three years, and while he has mainly worked with webcams, this year Duval presents his first installation featuring a physical object. The  set-up includes an old television with a punched out screen. There is tissue paper instead of glass. “I wanted to explore the idea of the television hiding something sinister,” Duval says. He was inspired by the media and the topic of fake news. “It’s interesting to think that we are a generation raised by television.” For his installation, the television screen will have a projection on it that changes as different people approach. “I want people to think critically about what their watching and what information they’re absorbing.”  

The 2017 Outdoor Vision Fest will begin at 8:45 p.m. Friday, April 28.