The Art of Immersive Spaces

Seminar on immersive environments, part of the conferences program of DEAF04.

Nov 2004
10:00 to 12:30

The intersection of virtual and physical environments is associated with returning philosophical debates dealing, most prominently, with interfacing and disembodiment issues. One could argue that disembodiment is the main motivation and attraction of immersive environments, because it reflects an escapist desire to leave reality behind and immerse in an illusionary world. Other opinions reflect upon the central role of the body as placeholder for perception and physical memory. How do the diverse theories about body, mind, consciousness and reality hold up in the current digital age? The last few years, an increasing number of researchers, artists and designers studied the effects of (dis)embodiment through interfacing and its influence on the immersion experienced by the user. But although our bodies are utmost important for our perception, a large portion of the bodily capabilities seems to be ignored in most interface designs. Shouldn"t we take advantage of our sensory system and become more actively, physically engaged in the virtual reality? What will be the consequences of multimodal interfaces when trying to seamlessly bridge these two realities?

This seminar tries to get a grip on the mediated human experience in immersive environments. It wishes to explore and discuss the issues concerning "the body and the extended mind" in digital environments, and its applicability in Human Computer Interfaces. Invited experts will present their viewpoints, research and art projects, and will try to reach an understanding of Human Computer Interface design and disembodiment issues in immersive spaces.

With Anneke Smelik (NL), Marnix de Nijs (NL), Maurice Benayoun (F), Wijnand IJsselsteijn (NL). Moderation by Oliver Grau (D)

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