2020 Grants Challenge


Idea by 3-D SPACE

STEREO/SCOPE: Looking Forward By Looking Back utilizes the latest virtual reality technology to create a simulacrum of a Victorian era stereoviewer, in which participants will experience life in the 19th century through historical immersive 3-D still photography, digitized and enhanced for the digital age.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

There is no specific collaborative partner for this project. 3-D SPACE is the singular applicant for this grant. Funds will not be disbursed to any partners.

In the past, 3-D SPACE has collaborated creatively with organizations throughout the Los Angeles arts and education sectors, including the Los Angeles Central Library, Columbia Memorial Space Center, LA Filmforum, the Velaslavasay Panorama, the Echo Park Film Center, Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, Monsterpalooza, Heritage Square Museum, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the LA 3-D Club, as well as other arts and science organizations, museums, galleries, libraries, and schools. When funded, this project will offer multiple collaborative opportunities with these and others.

What is the need you’re responding to?

This project will digitize the over 3,000 analog stereogram cards currently in the collection of 3-D SPACE, and integrate them into a VR environment and public installation that will serve as a destination where participants will explore and view the stereo images just as they were intended when they were produced over a century ago.

While Virtual Reality and holographic display are relatively new innovations, the state-of-the-art is greatly informed by the many forms of immersive media that have come before.

VR has its roots in the stereoscope of the 19th century. By juxtaposing popular analog stereo photos of the 1800s with digital VR technologies, this project will demonstrate that motivations for immersive experiences today are the same as in the past, and that VR techniques culturally achieve the exact same goals. This will provide a means of immersive exposure to our history, that the public would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Thanks to recent advances in digital technologies, there has been a renewed enthusiasm for all things 3-D, from 3-D movies to virtual reality.

But most people aren't aware that stereoscopic imaging has a very rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Our center celebrates the work of many talented artists, photographers and filmmakers who have used the medium of 3-D as their creative tool, and educates the public on the art and science of stereography.

By combining the latest state-of-the-art VR technology with the immersive media that was state-of-the-art 150 years ago we will give participants a transportive experience within a transportive experience, and will demonstrate how the analog of the past directly informs the digital of the future.

3-D SPACE, The Center For Stereoscopic Photography, Art, Cinema, and Education is uniquely suited for this project as we are the only museum in the US dedicated specifically to the past, present, and future of 3-D imagery.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 50

Indirect Impact: 1,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Our hope is that the VR applications and content developed through this project will be of interest to other museums, archives, and libraries in Los Angeles. The finished VR applications can be made available to organizations and individuals who would like to utilize them to make their own collections available, and will invite future collaborations with the 3-D SPACE. The project will provide a roadmap to making new assets available in the same manner, and potentially spawn a publicly accessible network of digital stereoscopic images that can be shared among institutions and with the public at large.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

During the project’s working phase, the public will be invited to beta test the VR apps at preview events. Upon completion, a room-scale VR installation will serve as a destination for public participation and the cellphone based version will be available so that distant participants can also engage to explore the environment and collection. Larger groups will be able to view glasses-free holographic versions of the Victorian imagery on lightfield displays installed at locations throughout Los Angeles. Immersive interactive mages will be shared on social media using 3-D image formats.

Our work will be directly evaluated by the public who engage with the installations. The people who attend our exhibitions will be given the opportunity to provide feedback that will be used to shape future programs.The project media will be exhibited in various public venues including art galleries, film festivals, and online, where the Los Angeles community at large will be able to see, experience, and comment. Our internal evaluation will be based on measuring levels of continuing engagement with the public, growth of audience size, attendance numbers at our events, and public demand for increased activities.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your submission impact?​

Arts establishments, instillations, and exhibitions

Public arts and cultural events

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Strategy assistance and implementation