Notable Curator Lady PheOnix collaborates with Breonna Taylor’s sister, Ju’Niyah Palmer, to create a transformative and healing digital experience dedicated to Breonna.
Installation Experience at Maurice A. Ferré Park (Museum Park)
1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
Panel Discussion | December 5th: 1 PM - 3 PM
Pérez Art Museum Miami: Auditorium
Miami (November 28th, 2021)—FilmGate Interactive is honored to present Breonna’s Garden, along with its creator, artist and curator Lady PheOnix, to the 8th edition of the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival. This augmented reality (AR) experience comes to the festival on the heels of its successful world premiere at the Tribeca Festival. The event will be taking place in Miami and Miami Beach during Art Week. The experience will be active from December 1st through the 5th, 2021, at the Maurice A. Ferré Park, located next to the Perez Art Museum. Breonna's Garden is a revolutionary framework for veneration through AR. As a sacred space in both the physical and digital world, the Garden will be brimming with some of Breonna’s favorite things both real and virtual, including flowers and butterflies.
The development of the project started when Lady PheOnix connected with Ju’Niyah Palmer, Breonna’s sister, having sensed a need for a safe space online where her family and friends could mourn. After a few discussions, it became apparent that entire communities needed a place to process their grief, with a notable lack of easily accessible safe spaces. From there, Breonna’s Garden was born.
“We created Breonna’s Garden to honor the life of Breonna Taylor with the intention that it be a peaceful refuge, unencumbered by the weight of the world,” said Lady PheOnix.
Since its conception, Breonna’s Garden has evolved from a healing tool for her family to a healing tool for the nation. It is a sanctuary where her name can be said without negation, and others can share their own stories of grief without fear of judgment. The technology allows people in the garden to record their own messages, which can be heard by the next visitors, effectively creating a chain of vulnerability and hope that helps to heal entire communities. We are honored to present an initiative that connects experiences across the universe. Breonna’s Garden provides a quiet moment to surrender and let go. Now, more than ever, authentic vulnerability is paramount to collective reconciliation.
Breonna’s Garden is not only a heart-centered offering, but a form of protest. As Lady PheOnix acknowledged in crafting this project, “Breonna died in a world of violence, but she will live on in peace surrounded by beautiful memories, butterflies, and her favorite things.” The experience honors and incorporates the things that brought a smile to Breonna’s face, choosing to immortalize the love and joy that filled her life. In focusing on positivity and memory, Breonna’s Garden fights against the overly negative flood of information we see on a daily basis.
The experience was created by a series of artists who graciously volunteered their time, making it a true labor of love. Australian artist and Director Sutu led the charge with the help of Candie Quach, his company EyeJack, a team of volunteers coordinated by Kavya Pearlman, with material support and volumetric capture provided by Microsoft and Metastage.
Diliana Alexander, the Executive Director of FilmGate Interactive, encountered Breonna’s Garden at its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival. She immediately saw its potency at a time when gun violence in Florida was rising, and the world was recovering from the loss of human life due to the waning Covid pandemic. With a grieving world, and added risks to large gatherings, a digital safe space has never been so necessary.
With two ways to participate, either at the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival or from the comfort of your own home, this experience is open to everyone. Whichever option you choose, the virtual garden will begin to grow around you, with a beautiful monument of Breonna, a hologram of very special guest Ju'Niyah Palmer, and glowing flowers that hold recorded messages from Breonna’s friends and family. Breonna would have turned 28 this past June. Breonna’s favorite flower was the tulip. So, when you say her name, do so with flowers on your tongue. The app invites each participant to record their own message, continuing the theme of support and community and allowing everyone the opportunity to leave something positive for the next visitor.
Now is the perfect time to say her name louder.
Panel Discussion | December 5th, 2021: 2 PM - 3 PM
Perez Art Museum: The Auditorium
Join creator Lady PheOnix, Alex Kipman (Technical Fellow, Mixed Reality at Microsoft), Joanna Popper (Breonna’s Garden Executive Producer and HP’s Global Head of Virtual Reality, GTM), Breonna Taylor's partner Kenneth Williams, and Panel Moderator Denise Burrell-Stinson, Head of Creative, Washington Post Creative Group.
About the Team:
Lady PheOnix - Executive Producer and Director
Lady PheOnix is the leading voice for contemporary digital art and culture, providing an essential platform for the art and artists of our time. As a passionate producer of creative works at the intersection of art and technology, she is deeply interested in the relationship between humanity and virtual beings. She was selected to participate in the 2021 Athens Biennale for her work AIYA. Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, AIYA is not your typical virtual human. AIYA was designed to explore the concept of heightened humanity from a lens often ignored in popular culture. Lady PheOnix is the founder of the premier art and cryptomedia advisory, Universe Contemporary, and co-author of the forthcoming book, Freedom Dreams in the Open Metaverse.
Sutu - Creative and Technical Director
Sutu (aka Stuart Campbell) is an Eisner-nominated, Gold Ledger, and Webby Award-winning artist and director whose life is devoted to social impact and pioneering new kinds of digital experiences. Art and technology have been merged in his creative practice. Now a leading creator in digital interactive storytelling for mobile AR and VR. Sutu holds an Honorary Doctorate of Digital Media from Central Queensland University and is a Sundance and Tribeca Fellow. In 2016, he partnered with AR pioneer Lukasz Karluk to co-found the groundbreaking augmented reality studio and platform, EyeJack, supporting this project.
About the Partners:
About FilmGate Interactive
FilmGate Interactive returns on Dec 3-5, 2021, for its 8th edition in Downtown Miami and Miami Beach. The Festival highlights how emerging tech developments influence new narratives and entertainment. Over three days, you will experience some of the most innovative local and international virtual and augmented reality projects, interactive installations, provocative fireside chats, and intimate networking events with the industry's most inspiring leaders.
About Microsoft Mixed Reality Diversity & Inclusion
Microsoft’s Mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. To honor this mission and our company core priority of diversity, equity and inclusion, the Microsoft Mixed Reality team has been a proud supporter of Breonna’s Garden. Our Mixed Reality Capture studios provided volumetric capture and technical assistance. Our Mixed Reality Diversity & Inclusion team activated engagement and sponsorship to the project, with our Black @ Mixed Reality employee resource group driving the creator and partnership collaboration.
About Center for Subtropical Affairs
The Center for Subtropical Affairs is an ecological learning center in Little River that provides jobs and career training in sustainable development to the community. We work with students of all ages to advance environmental education, resource conservation, and overall environmental health. CSTA pairs environmental education with cultural arts programming to make science accessible and engaging for all.
About Perez Art Museum
The Perez Art Museum’s mission is to be a leader in the presentation, study, interpretation, and care of international modern and contemporary art while representing and cherishing the unique diversity of Miami-Dade. Their exhibitions and programs aim to encourage everyone to see art as an incentive for genuine human interaction, communication, and exchange.
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