26 May 2021 @ 4:00 pm

Virtual Reality, the Incomplete Total Art

This talk positions VR in the context of an ancient desire for a completely immersive and transparent ‘total’ art that erases all traces of mediation. This is always a journey rather than a destination – particularly in this nascent period of VR. However significant changes have occurred since the current VR era began around 2016 even if the journey is progressing gradually. This talk will examine some of these changes – including current content, modes of expression, and alterations in the language we use to describe them. Some case studies will be used to explore recent examples of VR experiences that use real-time computer art to deploy expressive techniques that are paradoxically both cutting edge and inspired by old – even ancient – practices. While it is too early to define precise manifestos to guide virtual reality content creation, various theoretical and practical thinking emphasizes corporeal elements – because in real-life and in VR all action passes through the body. We can use changes in thinking from 2016 to the present to reassess content techniques and re-examine key learnings and expressive capacities, using particular examples such as forms of embodied editing, observer/participant narrative frameworks and fundamental configurations of the virtual bubble.

This SensiLab Forum will be live streamed on this page on Wednesday 26 May 2021, at 4pm.

Luke Buckmaster is the Guardian Australia’s film and TV critic, working for the publication shortly after it launched in Australia in 2013. He is also a writer for Flicks.com.au, a contributor to international publications such as NME, a former co-host of the ABC iview TV program The Critics and the author or Miller and Max: George Miller and the Making of an Australian Legend. He has a keen interest (obsession?) in new media and has written about VR for various outlets since 2015.

Luke is currently a PHD candidate for the University of Wollongong, studying the aesthetic, narrative, interactive and experiential qualities of VR experiences created in the present era and informed by many aspects of the past.

This forum will be moderated by Oscar Raby, multimedia artist, VR director, and PhD candidate from SensiLab.