2024 Trendall Lecture
Experiencing immersion from antiquity to modernity
Dr Emma Cole
5.15 – 6.45pm, Tuesday 13 February 2024
St. Teresa of Kolkata Building, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Immersive experiences are big business within today’s creative economy and range from cutting-edge interactive museum experiences and theatrical performances, through to the forms of immersivity facilitated through virtual (VR), augmented (AR), and mixed (XR) reality technologies. Yet the idea of immersion is not new; painting, sculpture, and theatre have all been discussed historically in terms of illusion, realism, and immersion, and textual critics in antiquity also described literature’s ability to create the sensation that a reader or listener was present at the event being described as well.
This lecture will explore how the most innovative forms of immersive experience today can be thought of as a return to, or a refashioning of, a very old fascination with immersion. Dr Cole will introduce examples from ancient literature that we can consider to facilitate immersion, and will explore how this background offers a new way of approaching contemporary immersive experiences. By putting immersion, ancient and modern, into dialogue, we learn something about the benefits, and even dangers of this type of aesthetic experience, and reach towards an understanding of why they are again attracting so much attention.
Entrance to the Trendall Lecture is free and open to the public. No registration is required. If you wish to attend the full ASCS conference, you may view the program and purchase tickets. Please refer to the ASCS program and website for updated information on conference rooms and campus location.