Wunetu Wequai Tarrant. Photo: Phil Lehans
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Join Guild Hall Community Artists-in-Residence, Christian Scheider and Wunetu Wequai Tarrant, in conversation with Peter Fisher, co-founder & CTO of Khora production studio as they discuss the process of creating the immersive virtual reality experience, Padawe, currently on view in Guild Hall’s exhibition, First Literature Project.

The conversation is moderated by Guild Hall’s Patti Kenner Director of Learning + New Works, Anthony Madonna.

  • Christian Scheider

    Christian Scheider is an independent filmmaker and theatermaker living between New York City and the East End of Long Island. In addition to his original film and theater work, Scheider heads video production for The Sunny Center in Ireland, the world’s only post-exoneration residential community, and produces films for the Bard Prison Initiative, his alma mater. As a theatermaker, Scheider co-adapted, produced, and directed Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Murderer, and Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Galápagos into fully staged productions, and premiered with his collaborators an original slapstick comedy, The Summit.

    For film, Scheider has produced and directed the documentary The Sunny Center about death row exonerees, and co-produced and directed the documentary The Tree Prophet about a self-identified climate prophet, which won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. Scheider is in perpetual pre-production on the quixotic feature comedy film Animal Party about human-animal rituals all over the world, the original screenplay for which was honored by the Redford Center as part of their 2016 grants program. Scheider is currently writing and producing a limited series, Pullman, about the eponymous railroad baron and the epochal national labor uprising of 1894.

    Photo: Phil Lehans

  • Wunetu Wequai Tarrant

    Wunetu Wequai Tarrant is a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, located on the East End of Long Island, NY. She grew up with her family on the Shinnecock reservation peninsula. Wunetu has been inspired by her grandmother and matriarch of the ThunderBird clan, Elizabeth ‘Chee Chee’ ThunderBird Haile, to promote cultural preservation and education. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in 2011, a Masters of Native American Linguistics and Languages from the University of Arizona 2020 and is currently a Linguistics Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arizona focusing on the reconstruction and revitalization of the Shinnecock dialect of Southern New England Algonquian.

    Wunetu has worked closely with the Algonquian Language Revitalization Project on designing curriculum and activities for teaching Shinnecock and related dialects and continues to research best practices in language research and production of materials that will be accessible to community members and teachers regardless of linguistic education experience. She has continued to advocate for Indigenous students as the Julia & Bernard Bloch fellow (2019-2022) and special interest groups through the Linguistic Society of America.

    Wunetu is a 2022 – 2024 Guild Hall Community Artist-in-Residence (CAiR). With support from the competitive Creatives Rebuild New York grant, Wunetu and filmmaker, Christian Scheider will spend the next two years developing the First Literature Project (FLP) work. The FLP aims to support the preservation of Indigenous stories, culture, and language by utilizing immersive 3D, VR, and holographic technology to create two immersive orations to be exhibited at Guild Hall in Spring 2024. Additionally, another component of this project will include a compilation of all materials utilized to help with Shinnecock language research to create a centralized database that will help with future research, as well as a video archive for the Padoquohan Medicine Lodge to document the interviews with Shinnecock Tribal members.

    Photo: Phil Lehans

  • Peter Fisher

    Peter Fisher is the co-founder and CTO of Khora, a leading Scandinavian Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) production studio, creating cutting edge content within multiple application areas.

    Khora consists of 30+ full time employees, and over the last seven years has produced more than 400 VR/AR applications and hosted more than 2000 workshops and events. Khora explores the value potential of VR and AR through meaningful collaborations and partnerships. They work within multiple industries, with a deep understanding of the technologies and of how and why businesses and institutions should work within these emerging mediums.

    Peter Fisher. Photo: Khora


The exhibition First Literature Project is supported by The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

Guild Hall’s Community Artist-in-Residence Program and collaboration with Wunetu Wequai Tarrant, Christian Scheider, and the Padoquohan Medicine Lodge was made possible through support from CRNY’s Artist Employment Program. Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY), a project of the Tides Center, is a three-year, $125 million investment in the financial stability of New York State artists and the organizations that employ them.

Additional project support was provided by the Long Island Community Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and an anonymous donor.

The formation of Ayim Kutoowonk was made possible through the Library of Congress’s Connecting Communities Digital Initiative, part of the Library’s Mellon-funded program Of the People: Widening the Path. The program provides funds to projects that offer creative approaches to the Library’s digital collections and center Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic or Latino studies.

First Literature Project’s VR installation was developed by Khora, a leading Scandinavian virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) production studio, creating cutting-edge content within multiple application areas.

Guild Hall’s Learning + New Works programs are made possible through The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, Vital Projects Fund, the Glickberg/Abrahams S. Kutler Foundation, Stephanie Joyce and Jim Vos, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment. 

Museum programs are supported by Crozier Fine Arts and funding from The Michael Lynne Museum Endowment and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.  

Free gallery admission is sponsored, in part, by Landscape Details. 

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