Til bevillingsoversigt

Expanded Reality: Radical Temporal Change in Immersive Environments

Internationalisation Fellowships


The research project examines a trajectory of (emotional) change occurring in our human relationship with immersive-perceptual environments today. Immersive environments increasingly affect how the world is 'felt', configuring our perceptual experiences in everyday life by designing our technological interfaces, social systems, networked information structures as well as cultural and artistic spaces. The project seeks to develop and qualify an analytical vocabulary for how embodied experience in variations of virtual, augmented and mixed reality, or, 'expanded reality', relate to processes of change in the world today, from a level of intimate human sensible experience to perspectives on how these immersive conditions tie in with broader developments of our world.


The project develops from the underlying critical thesis that when media aesthetic immersive experiences mirror us and we experience a strong sense of immersion, we are more likely to accept the angling, framing, emotions, or knowledge imperatives presented to us, which oftentimes align with underpinning corporate, political or economic logics. It is increasingly difficult for us to withdraw from immersion and question the design imperatives that mirror us, reflect our patterns, imitate our behaviour, depict how we feel, facilitate our communication, and respond to our emotions and sympathies. It is therefore crucial that we develop an analytical vocabulary for how our immersive experiences in 'expanded reality' relate to cultural-perceptual change in societies today.


The project examines recent examples of 'expanded reality environments' as especially found in art, design, gaming, and media architecture, which are developing from aims of affecting short or long-term change through human perceptual experience. The cases will be approached as felt and embodied rather than illuminated or pictured, which reflects a methodological approach of examining the 'radical temporality' of these experiences. The research employs concepts that relate to philosophies of perception but have had more currency within media theory and media history, such as re-mediation, networkedness, telepresence, algorithmic logic (both machinic and intuitive), and feedback and feedforward mechanisms, which are interwoven into the fabric of technologically developed cities today.


How we act - based on our perception of the world - does not simply pertain to psychological questions but complex cultural processes, which are increasingly influenced by technological innovations in optical technology and immersive environments. These are increasingly merging with our social, political, economic and cultural systems. The research project departs from a concern with how immersive technologies rapidly change society today - namely the role of the human, sensible being, while racing our cities and societies towards 'smart' but also alarmingly technocratic futures. The research will contribute to current discourse on how to balance the speed of technological innovation with human emotional and cultural sustainability - across disciplines.