The View from Inside

Authors

, Jan 4, 2021
Photo taken during the shooting of “Emily in Paris” at the Atelier des lumières
Photo taken during the shooting of “Emily in Paris” at the Atelier des lumières. Credit: Stephanie Branchu

Excerpt:

“Immersion,” like “engagement,” can seem like a loosely applied buzzword that museum spokespeople invoke to indicate an orientation toward accessibility for broader audiences. But it also describes an approach to exhibition design, or a genre of art that incorporates exhibition design in its totalizing transformation of space. Immersive art exceeds any one viewer’s field of vision. It often appeals to hearing, touch, and smell as well as sight. It’s not like a painting, an image bound by a frame, or a sculpture, a form open to contemplation from multiple angles but still fixed as an object of the viewer’s gaze. Instead, this 360-degree expansiveness connects physical immersion—as in popular works like Random International’s Rain Room, or Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return—to virtual reality, which drops the viewer in a world that stretches in all directions. Immersive art is bigger than you.

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