25 January 2024
Alternative Worlds – VR without Headsets

Margherita Fontana

12 June 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Faraway, So Close! Bridging distances between Anthropological Philosophy and Media Anthropology

Martino Quadrato

21 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Difficult Heritage: disputed figures in contemporary memorial museums

Giulia Bertolazzi

21 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
“Antimonumenta”: artistic practice in feminist Mexico

Francesca Romana Gregori

9 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Death and Virtual Mourning. The “Return of the Dead” in Digital Afterlife

Maria Serafini

7 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Vierundzwanzig Beine! Carts, chariots, carriages and other (image-)media in Warburg’s Mnemosyne

Katia Mazzucco

16 April 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Education meets Virtual Reality. Reasoning on learning outcomes, inclusion and didactic scenarios

Ilaria Terrenghi

4 April 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Rape or “rape”? Virtual violence and the somatechnical body

Pietro Conte

26 March 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Chiromorphisms. The technical genesis of modern disability

Alessandro Costella

15 February 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
The Obscene Device. Archaeology of Immersive Pornographies

Roberto Malaspina

1 February 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Techniques of Enchantment. Magic and Contemporary Technology

Sofia Pirandello

11 January 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
A world of imprints. The epistemology of visual evidence in digital and virtual media-ecologies

Rosa Cinelli

21 December 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
FEMINIST HORROR THEORY – Filmic Forms and Female Identity: Rewriting in the Key of Gender

Rossana Galimi

5 December 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
From Photography to Virtual Reality and back again. A conversation with Francesco Jodice

Francesco Jodice

20 November 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Immersed in science

Ilaria Ampollini

9 November 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
The burning gaze. An aesthetics of shame in the age of the virtual

Federica Cavaletti

2 November 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Forms of the intermediary: spatiality and durations between technology and aesthetics

Neda Zanetti

12 October 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Virtualizing Spaces: Immersive and Emersive Images from Home to City.

Fabrizia Bandi

28 September 2023
2022/23 Practices
108
LabSim: a fully featured laboratory simulator for innovative teaching of analytical chemistry
27 September 2023
2022/23 Multisensoriality
104
Immersive Rhythms, Dismersive Images: On Music Video’s Affective Atmosphere

Tomáš Jirsa

18 May 2023
2022/23 Multisensoriality
104
Spatialization of Sound

Markus Ophälders

research: Seminar

2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111

Alternative Worlds – VR without Headsets

Margherita Fontana
Jaron Lanier, the father of VR, wearing a headset while looking at the sky in a geodesic dome. AI generated image.

People familiar with Virtual Reality are used to the idea that VR is typically accessed through a headset, ranging from lighter, wireless options to bulkier, wired ones, or even standalone devices. Despite these differences, they all function as compact screens positioned in front of the user's eyes, completely immersing their field of vision. While VR can facilitate shared experiences in multiplayer environments, the use of headsets tends to create a sense of isolation, making VR a solitary, sometimes uncomfortable endeavour. This tendency toward solitary engagement has prompted the development of alternative approaches throughout the history of VR devices. In particular, introduced in 1991, the CAVE aims to construct virtual reality experiences around the user through projections, without confining them within a helmet. However, I argue that this divergent trajectory is not limited to explicit forms of VR, but extends to spaces whose historical and ideological narratives intersect with VR discourses. One such architectural trope, the geodesic dome, will be the focus of this seminar. The ideology underlying geodesic domes is intimately tied to the countercultural roots from which VR emerged. In my view, geodesic domes, along with bunkers, underground dwellings, dark ride attractions, and even prehistoric caves – on which the CAVE models its acronym – share a common aspiration: transcending mere habitability or functionality, these spaces represent the tangible realization of a possibility, a simulation of a potentiality. In two words, they are factually virtual realities.

Biography

Margherita Fontana

Margherita Fontana is a Ph.D. in Visual and Media Studies (2022, IULM University of Milan). Her doctoral dissertation deals with the problematic issue of primitivism in American contemporary art, as seen from a feminist-engaged point of view. Her main fields of interest are the anthropology of images and the political and social connotations of artistic acts. She worked on the relationship between some relevant moments of contemporary American art history and esthetics. In particular, she studied the philosophical implications of Lucy Lippard’s thought and art criticism. In the ERC project AN-ICON, she examines the American milieu of emersion of VR, as linked to the psychedelic and sci-fi culture and the paleocybernetic trail of virtual fascinations on prehistoric caves

research: seminar

Alternative Worlds – VR without Headsets

Margherita Fontana
Jaron Lanier, the father of VR, wearing a headset while looking at the sky in a geodesic dome. AI generated image.

People familiar with Virtual Reality are used to the idea that VR is typically accessed through a headset, ranging from lighter, wireless options to bulkier, wired ones, or even standalone devices. Despite these differences, they all function as compact screens positioned in front of the user's eyes, completely immersing their field of vision. While VR can facilitate shared experiences in multiplayer environments, the use of headsets tends to create a sense of isolation, making VR a solitary, sometimes uncomfortable endeavour. This tendency toward solitary engagement has prompted the development of alternative approaches throughout the history of VR devices. In particular, introduced in 1991, the CAVE aims to construct virtual reality experiences around the user through projections, without confining them within a helmet. However, I argue that this divergent trajectory is not limited to explicit forms of VR, but extends to spaces whose historical and ideological narratives intersect with VR discourses. One such architectural trope, the geodesic dome, will be the focus of this seminar. The ideology underlying geodesic domes is intimately tied to the countercultural roots from which VR emerged. In my view, geodesic domes, along with bunkers, underground dwellings, dark ride attractions, and even prehistoric caves – on which the CAVE models its acronym – share a common aspiration: transcending mere habitability or functionality, these spaces represent the tangible realization of a possibility, a simulation of a potentiality. In two words, they are factually virtual realities.

25 January 2024
16:00
18:00

Aula Martinetti

Via Festa del Perdono, 7

Alternative Worlds – VR without Headsets
Margherita Fontana
Aula Martinetti
Via Festa del Perdono, 7
20240125
16:00
18:00