“A New Normal” by Kumar

  • ©Asavari Kumar


Entry Number: 04


    A New Normal

Program Title:

    Immersive Storytelling



    As we learn to keep social and familial connections alive amidst the pandemic and rely heavily on digital media, I realize this has been my own ‘normal’ for most of the past decade. After immigrating to the US from India, my ability to travel home and be physically present with my family became limited, particularly after the 2016 elections. Thinking about home and belonging today, my thoughts go to my sister in Copenhagen and my parents in New Delhi. Using Augmented Reality as a storytelling tool for this film, allows me to see the evolving definition of ‘home’ through the eyes of my family. My experiments in early 2020 as an artist in the Adobe Aero AR Residency, helped explore the possibilities and limitations of AR, as experienced through the Adobe Aero application. Following this, I was interested in seeing how AR could fit into the scope of a narrative project and how it would interact with a traditional animation or video workflow when used by a filmmaker. I discovered many efficiencies during the production process, the most powerful being in-camera, real-time compositing. The process of creating ‘A New Normal’ combines the technical and conceptual workflows of both animation and documentary filmmaking. One scene has been made available to view in AR via the Adobe Aero app on iOS. Shot entirely in my apartment while sheltering in place, A New Normal is a product of remote collaboration between artists based in Copenhagen, Madrid, New Delhi, Mumbai and Los Angeles. In this short, my everyday digital conversations with family are overlaid with AR versions of my parents and sister in my own environment, to co-create a mixed reality experience that for the time being, is the closest thing I have to the feeling of home.

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©Asavari Kumar ©Asavari Kumar

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