On March 7-8, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study hosted an accelerator workshop organized by CMP Faculty Co-Director Peter Galison, CMP Administrative Director Julie Mallozzi, and Sensate Journal editor Julia Yezbick (also a CMP alumna).

The workshop brought together programmers/coders, anthropologists, artists working with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, media studies scholars, science and technology studies scholars, and neuroscientists to critically engage with each other around the themes described in the workshop’s executive summary:

From ethnography and other field methodologies to emergent media, immersive practices hold grand promises. Advances in immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality raise new questions about what it means to witness an event or to have an experience, prompting us to ask: what is the relationship of our sensorial experiences to reality? What politics of narrative and representation do we need to consider when consuming the commoditized package of narrative, media, and branding that virtual or augmented realities present? What are the ethical, political, social, and aesthetic implications of virtual immersive experiences?

The gathering gave us the chance to begin developing critical cross-disciplinary discourse and generating working strategies for the use of immersive media projects in the interstitial spaces between art and academia. We documented our process and conversations in order to create some ancillary content and a developed a curatorial direction for a special collection in Sensate Journal around the theme of immersion/immersive media to be published in the coming year.  Stay tuned!