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Translating performative mediated art into virtual reality: A case study

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Park benches are distinctive public spaces that invite a temporary pause for thought and time out from everyday activities and worldly preoccupations. Park Bench Sojourn is a multimodal arts project that explores the uniqueness and universality of these spaces and the kinds of experiences they foster. It asks what it means to be human; surrounded, as we are, by computer technologies and digital media, living lives that are perpetually ‘connected’ and dispersed through the cloud. It reflects on how our technologically determined lives and lifestyles conspire against us to find opportunities to stop, reflect and be witnesses to lived experience. It is a conceptually playful creative work that shares concerns for health and well-being arising from the contemporary mindfulness movement and the traditional practices and worldviews upon which mindfulness draws. The project is based around a range of experiential sojourns, which require participants to find a bench to sit on and then take a sojourn, or a number of sojourns from the project’s website, which may include audio, video, spoken word, or just listening. Other iterations of the project have included a multimedia gallery installation juxtaposing content from a variety of sojourns. Regardless of the format, context or specific content, the project explores ways in which we ‘perform’ ourselves and mediate experience via digital technologies. In this article, we describe the process of translating this mediated and performative artwork into a VR prototype and directions for future work.

Keywords: assistive technology; interaction design; interactive media; interdisciplinarity; practice-based research; technological mediation; virtual reality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000105855508Sunway University 2: 000000008831109XUniversity of Newcastle, NSW

Publication date: June 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • Virtual Creativity (VCR) is an academic peer-reviewed journal focusing on creativity in online virtual worlds and other related platforms where the virtual is examined as a central theme in contemporary media art practices and applied contexts. Pieces exploring the subject of digital creativity are sought from the broad perspective of Art, Science and Technology, in what is a widespread field of discourse. One focus of the journal is an examination of creative activity in the metaverse - from art, design and architecture, to research and education, to play and entertainment. Additionally, Virtual Creativity seeks to engage with ways in which the virtual reflects upon the implications of the physical.
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