Monika FLEISCHMANN (DE) and Wolfgang STRAUSS (DE)
Immersive Spaces for Thinking and Acting through Senses and Sensors
VR, virtual reality, means the technization of perception, a translation of the natural senses into the telematic. Interfaces, such as data goggles and data gloves, invite us to immerse ourselves in virtual worlds in order to ‘comprehend’ , ‘touch’ or ‘being touched’.
With the rise of the internet, VR technology has shifted in scale and meaning. The cyberspace – an interlinked data space – today becomes a new public forum of global display and total control, a huge virtual mirror of real world events and the home of big data. In this context, VR technology is experiencing a renaissance and data goggles are being enhanced, advertised by the industry as ultimate display, promising best immersion.
In our talk, we’ll trace the development from early artistic approaches in the field, such as Myron Krueger’s Responsive Environment (1972), to current VR-art and raise the question: How do the ideas of the early VR pioneers differ from today’s immersive environments? Using examples from our own work, we’ll try to show how difference and new knowledge can emerge through immersive mixed reality installations.
As the data knowledge of our time grows, performative structures are needed that keep the mind alert and shake the memory, like Renaissance scholar Giulio Camillo, a spiritual ancestor of VR art, aimed to do it with his famous memory theater. This is no longer the dive into a virtual environment, but an actual experience of mnemonic landscapes that symbolize ideas and at the same time offer a performative method of reflection.
Ellen PEARLMAN (US)
David ROTHENBERG (US)