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UAL Research Online

Non-immersive media: collaborating in an ‘immertical’ virtual world

Antonopoulou, Alexandra and Dare, Eleanor (2020) Non-immersive media: collaborating in an ‘immertical’ virtual world. In: Besides the Sceen: Materialities / Networks / Remediation / Migration, 21-22 May 2020, CIAC-ISMAI, Porto, Portugal.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Antonopoulou, Alexandra and Dare, Eleanor

The authors will report on their deployment of Brechtian and other performance-based methodologies which stimulate debate about the materiality of virtuality, remediating the virtual into a non-immersive space, at odds with pervasive rhetoric about immersivity and empathy. The paper will draw on performance-based student projects as well as approaches that the authors have developed to ‘encourage an attitude of critical distance’ towards virtuality, such as their work with the Phi Books project (2011- ) and the Riverine Archive (2019).

The hyperbole which has surrounded Virtual immersive mediation since Mark Zuckerberg bought Oculus in 2014 for 2.3 billion dollars, has been supported by a media which seem largely incapable of critical distance, often making claims for the pro-sociality of VR technology and content which reflect advertising claims, but with little supporting evidence. Brecht, famously critiqued empathy & immersion, as pandering to a bourgeois individualism. Empathy and immersivity are not obviously conducive to systemic change, least of all when addressing social injustice. At the same, time Antonopoulou has discussed the importance of role-play, fiction and the embodied tacit knowledge of performance as a conductive medium of criticality that leads to change. For Antonopoulou (2016, 2018) the body to body temporal materialities of role-play and the transference to the world of fiction offer critical distance that is useful for theorising on virtual, immersive experiences.

Throughout the pandemic the authors continued their collaboration, deploying immersion in playfulness and writing but also breaking the presence generated by that play. What happens in that moment of breaking, of creating meta narratives and analysis - how can it be framed – as a critical or immertical space a form of meta immersion, and what is the difference between creative ‘flow’ and immersion? How do we then frame the technological interruptions that happen during a technologically mediated collaboration? What is the implication of the following factors when we collaborate on platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Google Hang ups:

• Scenography
• World-building
• Dramaturgy
• Grammar
• Recording and post-production

The authors will discuss their responses to these questions.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2020
Event Location: CIAC-ISMAI, Porto, Portugal
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 12:13
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 12:13
Item ID: 16413
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/16413

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