Alternative Beginnings Towards other Histories of Immersive Arts and Technologies

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Gabriela Aceves Sepulveda
Matilda Azlisadeh


In this paper, we discuss three alternative approaches to the dominant histories of techniques of illusion and interaction that emerged in the context of the panel “Alternative Beginnings: Towards an-Other history of immersive arts and technologies” sponsored by the New Media Caucus presented at the 2018 College Art Association Conference.  Bringing together recent insights by media archaeologists (Huhtamo and Parikka 2011, Parikka 2012), decolonial thinkers (Mignolo 2011a, b), feminist and indigenous media scholars (Zylinska 2014, Todd 1996, Todd 2015) we invited papers that gave visibility to diverse genealogies of immersion, outside the dominant western art historical canon, to contextualize our current interest for embodied and multi-sensorial experiences. Focusing on the Latin American context – both geographically and epistemologically— the three critical approaches proposed include a discussion on the decolonizing potential of immersion as it moves away from a purely ocular regime towards an embodied one, an exploration of strategies that delink the development of immersive technologies from the military and for-profit game industry, and an emphasis on how localized sites can highlight the decolonizing potential of the local/global relationship in our possible rethinking of immersive technologies.

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