In summary

  • Swinburne’s annual public program, Swinburne: next gen_now, is coming to ACMI from Saturday 3 September to Wednesday 7 September 2022
  • It is a week-long program of interactive, thought-provoking digital media experiences from Swinburne students, alumni, lecturers and researchers 
  • Swinburne: next gen_now shows off our capabilities in screen, media, film, television and design 

Swinburne is coming to ACMI with a week-long program of interactive, thought-provoking digital media experiences from Swinburne students, alumni, lecturers and researchers.

Titled Swinburne: next gen_now, the non-ticketed program will run from Saturday 3 September to Wednesday 7 September 2022 in the Swinburne Studio and Gandel Digital Future Lab.

As ACMI’s Major Academic Partner, Swinburne is recognised as a leader in the creation of next generation digital experiences that allow students to produce, create and engage using advanced technology. Swinburne: next gen_now showcases the university’s capabilities in screen, media, film, television and design.

Visitors to ACMI will don the VR headsets, gloves and superpowers to create their own superhero. The experience is a collaboration between Swinburne, ACMI, celebrated technology artist Stuart Campbell aka SUTU and award-winning VR studio VISITOR.

A week to look forward to

Liam Burke, Associate Professor at Swinburne University of Technology, said they are excited to reaffirm the university at the cutting-edge of digital media.

“After a false start last year due to a snap lockdown, to say we are excited to launch next gen_now is an understatement. Our partnership with ACMI enables us to further our goal of bringing people and technology together to provide transformative research to the industry and advance screen culture,” says Professor Burke.

The program is packed full of interesting talks, VR experiences and showcased films and games. Highlights include:

  • Next gen_filmmaking: Join Max Schleser to zoom in on the growing community of smartphone filmmaking
  • Games Arcade: Walking through the Swinburne Games Arcade you’ll see a collection of work produced by several student teams from the past five years
  • Superheroes: Realities Collide: Answer our call, don the VR headsets, gloves and superpowers to destroy an alternative Melbourne before it swallows our own city in a cloud of anti-matter!
  • Aurora Australis Ultimo Choro: An immersive visual and sonic feast of three-dimensional environments and spatial sound visualising and sonifying the last grand Antarctic dance of the Aurora Australis, its crew and expeditioners.

Swinburne student project Level Squared (LVL²) started from a seed of an idea, a mechanic of being able to take a block and project it across rooms and through walls to solve puzzles. It looks simple, but it has heart and a sense of humour that really brings it to life.

Partners in digital technology and art

Stephen Scoglio graduated from Swinburne University of Technology with a Bachelor of Games and Interactivity in 2017.

His game Level Squared (also known as LVL²) won Student Game of the Year at The Game Awards that year. It will be one of many student and alumni creations exhibited at ACMI.

“This was the first major game project I had worked on, as a mature-aged student returning to university in a completely new field, the process was daunting but also exciting. Being able to design a concept and watch it come to life and to play it and watch others play it was the greatest joy,” he says.

Stephen flew to Los Angeles for the Game Awards, making his acceptance speech to around 13 million viewers – including much of the games industry.

He then got a job in a local studio and became a games designer, and eventually returned to Swinburne to teach the next generation of game designers. Today he is a sessional lecturer at Swinburne and the Lead Designer at Wicked Witch Software, and still loving working in games.

“Swinburne: next gen_now is one of the few exhibitions I know of that gives an opportunity to showcase the games made by students – those starting out, plying their newfound trade, exploring their ideas and not constrained by budgets and release dates,” Stephen says.

“Universities and institutions will often show off their games at the end of the year and that's often the last you'll see of them. This exhibition keeps those games alive and will hopefully inspire those who haven't started on that journey to take the leap. I'm looking forward to going back to where it started for me and playing Level Squared with fresh eyes and years of design learnings under my belt and spotting all the things we could have done better!”

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