Guest Lecture:

An Emergent Art Movement

Curated by Ryan Groves

Lecture Summary

This lecture was an invited guest lecture for the joint class between MIT, Harvard and Berklee College of Music - Making Virtual Reality and Immersive Experiences. It's part of MIT's Founder's Journey seminar, led by Ken Zolot, and is a showcase of MIT's increasing interest in guiding creative entrepreneurs in building their own companies.

More info here: Where Music and Technology Unite


  • Friday, 10/30 at 3:00PM Eastern Time - Class Start
  • First Talk - Roman Rappak and Ryan Groves: "An Emergent Art Movement"
  • Second Talk - Dan Franke hosts a walkthrough of VR Music Video, "I'm Sorry" - a collaboration with Ryan Groves
  • Friday, 10/30 at 4:30PM Eastern Time - Additional Office Hours for any Q&A
  • Required Prep Work

  • URGENT: Ensure you are able to side load. Download the build (from this website) when posted on Wednesday, 10/28 and make sure you can run it on your device.
  • Watch Ars Electronica Conference Video by Roman Rappak, and consider corresponding prep question.
  • Talk 1: "An Emergent Art Movement"

    Roman Rappak

    Roman Rappak is frontman of the band Miro Shot, releasing debut album CONTENT on Believe/All Points Records with Warp Publishing and East City Management. CONTENT explores the themes of data, technology, gaming, and online culture as a modern narrative of this digital era. The band started in 2017 as a collective of musicians, coders, filmmakers and designers who created the world’s first immersive multi-sensory live VR/AR concert, its success leading to the launch of immersive startup Overview Ark that provides immersive solutions for live and virtual events.

    Ryan Groves

    Ryan Groves is the founder and CEO of Infinite Album, and former co-founder of Melodrive. He is an award-winning music and AI researcher and veteran developer of intelligent music systems. His vision is for all music to be interactive and adaptive, and believes that AI is the tool that will get us there.

    Previous projects include: Ditty–the #1 music app in over 25 countries, a musical messenger that sings your texts to the song of your choice, and Melodrive–the adaptive AI composer for interactive media. Now, with Infinite Album, Ryan is building a copyright-free music solution for live-streaming and interactivity, powered by AI.

    Required Viewing (Talk 1)

    Roman Rappak @ Ars Electronica: Telling the Future Through Art and Technology (2:40-29:48)

    Supplemental Listening/Viewing

    SXSW Panel: The Future of Live Music, Blended Realities
    (Ryan Groves, Roman Rappak, Anne McKinnon, Eric Wagliardo)

    Arcona AI · SXSW 2020 - The Future of Live Music: Blended Realities

    Stanford Keynote Lecture, Ryan Groves:
    "Building Artificially Intelligent Musical Composers"

    Talk 2: VR As A Tool For Rapid 3D Animation

    Guest Speaker: Dan Franke

    Dan Franke is the Co-founder and Director of Studio Syro, where he serves as a VR Artist and virtual animator. Dan is one of the pre-eminent Quill animators in the world, with titles such as and the VR series, Tales From Soda Island, multiple contributions to Quill Theater, and also the music video "I'm Sorry" (see below).


    The talk will walk through the creative process for the creation of the VR-animated music video, "I'm Sorry", as we also walk through the scenes of the video in a virtual space. We will uncover the approaches to collaborating for a new artistic medium (music & immersive art), while also highlighting some important logistical aspects of 3D sculpting and animation.

    Supplemental Viewing (Optional)

    VR-Animated Music Video: I'm Sorry (Dan Franke & Ryan Groves)

    Shot-by-shot remake of Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse (Dan Franke)

    Intro to Quill - Painting & Animation Techniques


    1. (Non-written) What are the pillars of the new era of art that we're currently in, according to Roman Rappak's talk at Ars Electronica? How is this different or similar to past movements?

    2. (Optional) Create a self-portrait in Quill and share it. Animated self-portraits are welcome!

    Side-loading Requirement!

    This class will require that you side-load our virtual space in the Quest. If you are not familiar with the process, please follow the tutorial with a game or application from the SideQuest platform as soon as possible. Any student who may be having trouble with this is welcome to contact us throughout the week (please contact the TA for our information).
    The build will be posted in the downloads section., where you can also find a tutorial for sideloading

    Downloads and Logistics


    This class will take place entirely in VR. We've created a virtual space for us all to meet, which will give us an opportunity to see (and even inhabit) the work that we're discussing. The build of the space will be shared and will need to be side-loaded into the Quest.


    We are finalizing the virtual space. The build will be ready by end of day (~6pm) on Wednesday, 10/28. We will post the download both here and also send a link via course email.


    The build will need to be side-loaded into the Quest. Please ensure that you are familiar and comfortable with the sideloading process before the day that the build is available! For more information on side-loading, you can watch this tutorial. If necessary, you can follow the tutorial with a game or application from the SideQuest platform.

    Troubleshooting Sideloading

    If you have any trouble with sideloading, please contact the TA and we can set up a session for assisting you. It is important that everyone come to the VR space on time