Recently Joseph Nechvatal posted an essay announcing his BBS, IMMERSIVE
IDEALS / CRITICAL DISTANCES (http://www.thing.net/thingnyc/msgboard.html),
to RHIZOME RAW. His essay can also be found in the <a
href="http://www.rhizome.org/query" target="_top">RHIZOME CONTENTBASE</a> by
searching on the keyword "immersion."
Please find Ellen Zweig's reply to that post below:
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Dear Joseph, read your description of the IMMERSIVE IDEALS board on RHIZOME
RAW and found it quite interesting. But I have a few comments.
First, it seems to me that VR is the most literal of all the ideas of the
immersive ideal. It seeks to make immersion more concrete in a way. Although,
that seems like an oxymoron. In other words, it leaves less to the imagination
than say the kind of immersion you experience in the movies or in a novel.
This brings me to my other comment. You say that this immersive ideal has been
around for a long time, but your examples are from a minute ago (Bataille,
Gibson, Baudrillard, etc.). What about Greek theater? rituals ( any kind of
possession rituals like voodoo or Balinese trance dance)? Reading itself could be
seen to be an immersive experience. And I'm sure we all could come up with a lot
more examples. I think any kind of discussion like this has to take a broad
historical and cultural sweep in order to make any sense.
If you think my comments should be on the immersive ideals board, instead of or in
addition to this personal note, please feel free to post them and let me know.