Art in the Age of Immersion

Vortrag, Öffentliche Vorlesung
Breite Öffentlichkeit
03.10.2023 17:15 - 18:45

Digital Society public lecture by Dr. Chris Salter
Professor of Immersive Arts and Director of the Immersive Arts Space at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Professor Emeritus, Design and Computation Arts, at Concordia University in Montreal

In 1968, the Polish born curator Jascia Reichardt opened a landmark exhibition at the ICA in London entitled Cybernetic Serendipty in which all manner of sensor-augmented devices, objects and sculptures stood ready to usher art into a new technological age. Remarkably, while ever more complex sensors, algorithms and devices have steadily increased in the 54 years since Reichardt’s show, essentially the same goal has remained: using artificial sensing as an integral part of an artwork in order for the work to “make sense” about its “world” and respond to it.

This phenomenon perfectly aligns with the long sought-after imaginaries of artists, designers and technologists to create seamless computational links between our bodies and the larger environment and thus, reorganize the human senses in order for them to act as input for such works. But if the history and practices of “immersion” in the arts has long focused on the senses being transformed through melding them with technologies embedded into the actual physical world, the next wave of immersion seeks the opposite: to capture the senses in order to render a synthetic world that is “realer” than the physical one. In the words of computer graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland from 1965, the new “ultimate display” (a harbinger of later VR/AR head mounted devices), would need to “serve as many senses as possible.” Thus, contrary to the idea that the senses are simply to be replaced by the prosthetics of artificial sensors, a different story seems to be emerging. Our senses are needed to drive and feed ever-new immersive experiences by being increasingly “coupled” or linked to the simulated.

This talk will careen through TeamLab’s immersive environments installed in the landfill islands of Tokyo, through the visions of artists in the 1960s to create new kinds of “reactive environments” and our now just emerging “metaverse” age of Extended Reality in order to give a critical historical and socio-technical picture of our present and future visions of art in the age of immersion.
03.10.2023 17:15 - 18:45
Standort PER 21 / Raum A230
Bd de Pérolles 90, 1700 Fribourg
Anna Jobin
Blvd. de Pérolles 90
1700 Fribourg
Vortragende / Mitwirkende
Dr. Chris Salter, Professor of Immersive Arts, Director of the Immersive Arts Space, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) & Professor Emeritus, Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

REIHE von Veranstaltungen:
Digital Society: Digital Transformation in Society and Culture

This interdisciplinary lecture series is organized by the new Master minor programme "Digital Society". It presents various issues and areas of research in digital society and culture. What are the major contemporary challenges? Who are the major players and their roles, what are the stakes?
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