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Altar-ed Spaces: Video Art

$2,000 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 5 months
Created July 28, 2018
No, that's not a typo. I meant to write Altar-ed States to describe my project where I will create immersive video spaces both virtually and in physical space. These  spaces will become meditative "Altars." My name is Amirra Malak, and I am an artist living in Hood River, Oregon. I have been a painter for many years and am now super excited to work to extend my art-making practice to include video, specifically meditative immersive video using VR(Virtual Reality) video and projection art. My goal is to raise $2000 by the end of August so I can purchase video equipment, create new work that will be accessible in VR format online for free, and host an immersive video art exhibit titled "Altar-ed States” to include VR and projection art by late fall. 

How did this desire to transition to video come to be? Last year I worked on a series of paintings exploring the nature and sacredness of water. As part of my process, I recorded multiple videos of water across the U.S. and in Egypt. My plan was to use the video solely as image research for the paintings, but, as the series progressed, I found myself more and more intrigued by video as an art form in its own right.  I am finding working with actual light in video rather than simulating light in paint immensely satisfying. I am excited about the added dimensions of sound and movement as well. Several of the videos I’ve recorded have had a meditative quality through moving pattern and light, an effect I have struggled for years to simulate in painting, but which naturally flows in the moving medium of video. The feeling of a meditative space sparked the idea for immersive video, the direction I would like to take in my new work.   Why meditative videos? When I have taken moments to notice meditative spaces in the world, I have come away transformed, more at peace, and feeling connected to the world. This is a feeling I want to share and give to others. As a public-school art teacher, I'm acutely aware of and passionate about the need for art to be accessible to all. This new medium will be accessible to anyone with a phone and a cheap VR headset. My goal is to produce videos that are available online at little or no cost to the viewer. Our phones, which can often be a distraction or a source of anxiety for many of us, can now become a tool for meditation and reflection.  You can view my current video experiments and transition from painting to video on my Instagram: @artwithamirra

Over the next three months, I would like to create this new series of immersive video experiences entitled Altar-ed States, where the viewer is immersed in rhythmic luminous moving patterns creating liminal spaces that become perceptual altars and inspire reflection and connection. The videos will create spaces rather than be objects to look at.  I envision creating a series of VR videos that can be played using a VR headset that works with most phones as well as a series of videos designed to be projected in an interior space. (If you haven’t yet experienced VR, I highly recommend purchasing a cheap Google Cardboard VR headset for about $15 online, downloading the Google Cardboard app and exploring this amazing medium).

In order to make this transition to video, I will need to purchase equipment by the end of August both for recording video and for presenting video. I would like to use my iPhone as my recording device because, as I learned from recording video of water over the course of a year, I am more likely to film if I don’t have to haul a large camera around. “The camera you use is the camera you have with you.” I have researched equipment that will both improve my iPhone’s standard video footage and will expand the capacity of my phone to film in 360 degrees for a fully immersive experience. Equipment includes a 360-degree camera that attaches to my phone, a compatible microphone, attachable lenses, and a gimbal for steadying my filming. In order to be able to present the video in a public space, I would like to purchase a high-quality VR headset, video screens, and a projector so that I can create immersive spaces in an interior space by projecting videos at a large scale. While researching and experiencing VR, I’ve realized the quality of the sound is critical to a fully immersive experience, so I would also like to be able to pay for consultation with a sound artist. 

I will produce new work from September to November, and, in late fall, I will host the “Altar-ed States” immersive video experience at an event open to the public where visitors can access the VR videos and projected/displayed videos. All VR videos will then also be made available for free online.
 
For supporters, I’ll be offering the following thankyou gifts based on your donation amount: 
All donations: Exclusive preview of 2 new VR videos viewable using the Google Cardboard headset and app.
Donations over $100: Exclusive previews and downloads/links of ALL new VR videos viewable using the Google Cardboard headset and app.
Donations over $ 200: A preview tour of the exhibit hosted by me before doors open to the public. 
 
If you support my project, I will be incredibly grateful! It can be terrifying to take a leap in a new direction and to ask for help, but this is honestly the most excited about art-making I have been in years, and I can’t wait to get started!
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Update 3
Posted by Amirra Malak
13 days ago
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Thank you to everyone who supported my GoFundMe, “Altar-ed States!” I am currently in Egypt and have been able to film the Nile using new equipment thanks to you! You can view new videos on my Instagram: @artwithamirra. I am excited to integrate new footage into immersive installation and virtual reality art when I return to the U.S. Stay tuned for updates!
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Update 2
Posted by Amirra Malak
2 months ago
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Hi all! Soooooooo, I will be heading back to Egypt this winter to spend some much needed time with my mom and dad. While there, I'm hoping to shoot more footage of the Nile for my new video work. I am finally feeling ready to create again and am looking forward to connecting to the water of my childhood during this poignant time. One idea I would like to try while there is projecting video of water filmed here at the Columbia River onto the Nile River and to then film the layers of video and moving water. Thanks to the generous donations from many of you, I have much of the equipment needed to film while there. I've been able to purchase a mini projector, a 360 camera, a VR headset, and lenses for my iPhone. I am still short a couple of key pieces of equipment, so I am posting a link to my gofundme to see if any of you kind folks would be interested in supporting this endeavor. I'm hoping to raise the last little chunk before I travel in late December. If more funds are raised than I originally budgeted for, I will apply those funds towards my ticket to Egypt and if things go really crazy, I may also purchase a projection mapper that will help me be able to project video onto non-flat surfaces with little distortion. For future installation projects, I'm thinking of projecting video onto fabric hung in a room so that there are no longer corners and the space becomes truly immersive. Thanks again to everyone who is supporting this new direction in my work and for having faith in me. Your support means so much!!!
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Update 1
Posted by Amirra Malak
5 months ago
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Gaaahhhhh! In 2 days we're a quarter of the way there!!! Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far! The timing couldn't be better! I'm heading on a road trip to South Dakota in a couple of days with stops in many beautiful places. Thanks to all of you who donated so quickly, I was able to purchase some of the equipment on my wish list which will be great for shooting new footage on the road: an Olloclip film kit which includes attachable iPhone lenses, a high quality mic, and wind screen for the mic!!! I will use this new equipment to film video for projection art this trip. I'm excited to shoot footage that should be clearer with the new lenses and with sound quality that will improve the immersive experience. Thank you so much for helping me get started!!! I will post from the road via Instagram @artwithamirra. Thanks again for your support. It means the world to me!
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$2,000 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 5 months
Created July 28, 2018
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SM
$75
Suzanne Mayo
2 months ago
$500
Bakh Malak
2 months ago
SF
$25
Sophie Finstad
2 months ago
JW
$100
Jennessa & Rob West
5 months ago
ES
$95
Ellen Simonis
5 months ago
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Ellen Simonis
5 months ago
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