Historically the most classic technology for creating immersive experiences was in the form of words, with both oral and written stories. Good writers are able to take the reader and transport them into another world, and many times into the mind and eyes of a character. The question is how do they do it? Shifting someone’s perception or making someone see from another person’s eyes is like the art of persuasion. Aristotle says in the Art of Rhetoric, that the means of persuasion divide into three categories: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Perhaps making the user/audience understand a person’s logic, emotions, and doing it in a way that seems credible or convincing is all you really need. An immersive experience in my eyes is one that successfully persuades the user/audience because for a second it takes you out of the world you know and pulls you into seeing or understanding a different point of view.
I think a work of art that truly accomplished changing perceptions and points of views through an immersive experience is the Argentine play Tercer Cuerpo. In this play, although the characters are always on stage together and the set of an office space never changes, through the art of acting each seemingly disconnected character makes you believe that they are in a different space and in their own lives. In one physical setting the piece plays with the imagination of the audience and immerses you into each character’s different lives and painful situations they are grappling with whether it be a divorce, or old age, or an abortion. Here is a link to some clips and description of the piece (in spanish):
Some subjects I think are interesting for this project are exploring the different points of view between: an Israeli and Palestinian, a child and an adult, an autistic person and mentally abled person, as well as the police and community members.
Some brainstorming ideas:
– A collaborative book, you write a stories together and add/erase different parts to tell the story how it was to you. Then you can go back and see the different edits and which person made what.
– an interactive narrative (fictional based on true story) of two opposite characters, but the audience can click parts in realtime and see evidence of countless examples of the same situation that happened in real life.
– a platform to share aspects of the life of “the other”
– a game in which you can switch from character to character and in each you experience a different home, work, routine etc.
– museum of humanity – click any part of the world and see videos from that place in 360 degrees, hear music, see art, smell food. sort of like a google maps that gives you more.