Immersion and Participation dissected the interplay of immersion, interaction, participation, technology, and innovative communication, especially as they pertain to museums. Immersion evokes total envelopment, the plunge into a separate, all-encompassing physical or mental space. Artistic practice is deeply connected to this idea, and so too can be the experience of engaging with art. Viewers can be transported by their exposure to a work, even overcome by a Stendhal Syndrome–like vertigo. Museum galleries can similarly be conceived as immersive experiences that transport the visitor out of everyday life.
Participation, however—exchange, interactivity, commitment—has become the Holy Grail for most museums and for many designers, architects, and artists. The concept is not new, but recent technological innovations have enabled experiments with enhanced storytelling techniques, and have also introduced a demand for more complex, involving, and multi-sensorial experiences on the part of the audience.
Watch the videos from the salon and explore some of these questions: What is the rapport between immersion and participation? What is the future role of immersive technology in art museums? In education? Can immersive technology have a role not only in education, marketing, and entertainment, but also in social science and policy making? Can an experience be technologically mediated and immersive but not controlling? Can a museum visitor meet art on her own terms if the environment is an immersive one?
The salon took place on June 11th, 2013.
Aina Abiodun is cofounder of StoryCode, an open-source, global community for emerging and established cross-platform and immersive storytellers. Aina is an award-winning filmmaker who has expanded her creative work across media platforms. Aina has written, directed and produced campaigns and platform extensions for Project Runway, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Seamless Web, and The Huffington Post.
Deb Howes is Director of Digital Learning at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Previously, Deb was the assistant director of the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies program, and museum educator in charge of educational media at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Frank Rose is a digital anthropologist. Frank’s most recent book, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, explicates how technology is changing the venerable art of storytelling. He is also the editor and writer of Deep Media blog, which offers a discerning narrative of the digital age.
Lance Weiler is a storyteller and filmmaker. Dubbed “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood” by WIRED magazine. Lance sits on two World Economic Forum steering committees; one focused on the Future of Content Creation, and the other examines the role of Digital Media in Shaping Culture and Governance. In addition, Lance teaches at Columbia University on the art, craft, and business of storytelling in the 21st century.