ITP Camp 2016

ITP Camp Blog

ITP Campfire Stories: John Benton

Written by Ruta Kruliauskaite on June 24, 2016, 3:47pm


What were your favorite moments at ITP Camp so far? My favorite moments of the camp are actually talking to people unofficially as we’re sitting out in the lounge or hanging out at the counselor’s circle. The thing that is really great about camp is just the random kind of small conversations you have with people in passing as you’re sitting next to them working on your own thing. The connection that you have almost spontaneously with people is some of the best stuff at camp.

What’s your latest passion? My latest passion personally is storytelling in immersive and haptic environments. I think there is a new kind of narrative and information design that is beginning to happen through the ability to move through spaces and intuitively interact with things where it is not a binary system of choosing your own adventure. That for me as a writer is fantastic.

What do you think is the future of image making? That is a big question. Images are taking over, and I think that there is such a barrage of them surrounding us. I was just in Times Square and you have to put blinders on because images are coming at you constantly. I think with AR and VR -- especially with AR -- this is going to be more and more a part of our culture. The thing that is great about ITP is that we are able to start thinking critically about the future and how we want to change it. So I think that image making, because it is going to be so ubiquitous, is going through some kind of crisis now too. It is very interesting.

Any crazy/funny experiences from galleries, museums or film festivals? The thing that I love the most, because right now I’m creating VR, is to see people interact with your stories, with your games, with your environments in real time and see what people latch onto and what they laugh at. Because I do a lot with room-scale VR I end up seeing people crawl around my sculptures. They crawl around the floor. They look over ledges. It is beautiful to watch people interact with that. It is really thrilling and kind of intimate.

Any advice to future campers? Have fun. Play. Share. One of the things that camp has taught me is how I define good work -- whether it is any kind of artistic work that I see -- on how much love, how much heart, how much generosity is at its core, are at its base. And I think one of the things that is great about camp is that everyone is getting together and sharing stuff. Nobody is proprietary about what they are doing, everyone is sharing things because we are creating the future together. So there is a lot of love and generosity here.

Watch video for more responses from John:


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