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10 November 2015

360 Degrees - A New Angle on Access Research Results Published

Sue Austin with a research participant using an Oculus headset

Freewheeling has now published their findings from the NESTA-funded Digital R&D project ‘360 Degrees: A New Angle On Access’ to facilitate the next generation of film-makers exploring 360 degree film and projection.

The use of 360º immersive technology presents a major opportunity for arts organisations to reach out to new audiences and enhance the audience experience. In particular, it provides a means by which disabled people who face barriers in terms of leaving the home or travelling to large art venues can access art. However, the delivery of 360º technology in the past has required considerable expense and expertise, which has tended to put it out of reach of most community arts venues. In light of these barriers, the project sought to develop and test affordable recording and display technologies for taking 360º art experiences into both the home and into small arts, community and educational venues.

The research report highlights findings from exhibition audiences, user-generated content workshops, the project team and the home-based experience participants.  In summary, the project identified how immersive systems could be used to reach out to potential art audiences who may have previously been excluded. It also found an additional range of potential applications for 360º technology, including in the spheres of education, health and tourism.

Also being published is a user guide, which includes practical filming, editing and projection tips, instructions for installing and using the two projection rigs available from Freewheeling, and advice on shooting underwater with sensitive equipment as well as insight into the team’s process throughout the project.

It is hoped that individual artists and organisations will find these resources inspiring and lead to even more exciting experiments and experiences in 360, particularly those focussed on creating accessible, inclusive arts and film experiences for excluded or marginalised audiences.

Freewheeling would like to thank The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts and our research partners SERIO and Affinity at Plymouth University, Living Option Devon, commissioned artists Sue Austin and Kevin Clifford, and Dan Burton of 360 Eyecam for their invaluable support in this work.

Read the full report here: http://artsdigitalrnd.org.uk/projects/freewheeling/