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Friday, May 13 • 10:45am - 11:00am
Postmortem: critical reflection and creative lessons learned from creating an essay in VR about VR.

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Drawing on eight years of humanities work in Brown University’s Cave (VR system), I have been solicited for a critical and creative article on VR by NYT Op docs. The final product would be a reflective piece in VR about VR distributed through the NYT Google cardboard initiative. My written essay will use the methodologies of media archeology and design iteration to talk about society’s cyclical obsession with immersion and the hyped technologies that promise it. It will address the different technologies and epochs of immersion from the advent of the panorama to modern day VR HMDs. Similarities in how these devices are marketed and consumed will be drawn by comparing product descriptions and marketing rhetoric throughout the decades. The reflection will end on the current iteration of VR speculation and ask why we persist in a cultural amnesia of the “immersive” movements that have come before.

The talk at Hastac will present some of my findings in a scholarly light as well as discuss the practical and creative practice of making the VR app that chronicles/documents previous immersive technologies. Some of the sub issues the essay will raise include the dangers of “newness”, the contemporary move to co-opt “storytelling” for marketing practices, and the delicate problem of designing immersive political worlds for the “empathy machine”. I am applying for a paper slot, but suggest a 30-45 minute talk to make room for addressing both the scholarly consequences of this piece and the behind the scenes lessons in immersive design I’ve learned as a practitioner using the Unity Engine. I would also like to bring a few cardboards for hands-on demonstration during the time slot and hope to plan exercise discussion with them and the NYT initiative.


Friday May 13, 2016 10:45am - 11:00am MST
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Archives and Collections, Long paper
  • Session Location COOR L1-84