Immersed in Technology
Art and Virtual Environments
368 pp., 7 x 9 in,
- Published: July 29, 1997
- Published: January 23, 1996
The Banff Centre for the Arts has become synonymous for what's hot in the electronic arts, a place where professional artists come to produce new work and develop new skills. This book brings together critical essays along with artists' projects to explore the many issues raised by the creation of virtual environments and to provide a glimpse into worlds that have been much discussed but rarely seen. The book opens with eleven essays that approach the social and cultural implications of cyberspace from the perspective of cultural studies, communications, art history, art criticism, English, and women's studies. These are followed by nine virtual environments (along with statements of what the artists are trying to accomplish in both theoretical and technical terms), created as part of the Art and Virtual Environments Project at the Banff Centre.
Virtual reality, like many technologies in their infancy, was not developed with a singular purpose in mind, and still lacks a fixed raison d'être. Seizing the moment, the writers and artists in this book have taken a rare initiative by proposing a host of creative forms and ideas for the multifunctional use of virtual environments.
Andrew Ross, Director, American Studies Program, and Professor of Comparative Literature, New York University
Immersed in Technology realizes two extraordinary goals. It demonstrates that serious historical and critical thinking about virtual reality and the implications of technologies of immersive environments can be accomplished with neither excessive speculation nor vague promises. It confirms that a number of artists are deeply engaged in extending the boundaries of representation into the territory of experiential computation without falling into the traps of cryptic electronic iconography or hollow interactive novelty. The essays and projects in this book confront the uses of electronic environments and virtual reality as a tangible cultural force linked with the development of communication media and an entirely revamped experience of art.
Timothy Druckrey, editor of Iterations: The New Image