The pandemic semester was absolutely crazy, I barely had time to attend to all the obligations related to my teaching and other administrative work (contrary to what you might think, academic work of an associate professor can be sometimes mundanely and insanely bureaucratic). Anyway, it is (almost) over now, so I can dedicate a bit more time to my own research. An excellent opportunity presents itself with the yearly Electronic Literature Organization Conference. The one we’re just about to begin was supposed to be held in Orlando, Florida, USA. It’s gonna be the first Virtual ELO Conference instead, held entirely online, including the exhibition, performance program, and the live virtual engagement sessions. The asynchronous program is freely available, but to get most out of this wonderful conference, you can consider registering and paying a small ELO membership to get access to plenaries, live workshops, and events, and first and foremost, to our Discord server where all the social life has moved (there is even The Pub where we’re convening at weird hours considering all the time zones the participants of this truly global event inhabit.
Anyway, my first active participation is on Thursday (11 am ET / 5 pm CET) – I have the pleasure to participate in the workshop VR Narratives: In VR, About VR, held in AlspaceVR along with brilliant researchers and practitioners, including Jill Walker Rettberg, Caitlin Fisher (Director of the York University Augmented Reality Lab), Ilya Szilak ( author of the VR narratives Queerskins: A Love Story and the forthcoming work Queerskins: Ark), Scott Rettberg (co-author of the VR CAVE narrative Hearts and Minds), and Laryssa Whittaker (an audience insight researcher from StoryFutures, the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling). Join us there with any VR headset, signing up at the conference website . Please follow our code of conduct .
In my short 5-minute presentation I will briefly discuss why we need a critical theory of VR to instigate the robust participatory culture, beyond the mostly industry-driven, ideological fog of immersion surrounding VR. It will be based on the chapter “VR- the culture of (non)participation? Reframing the participative edge of virtual reality.” I have published in this edited volume. I’m making pre-print version available here. Download PDF.