The writing in Immerse’s “Publics” issue imaginatively and concretely address the potential discursive space of the public sphere — and the ways public art, digital art, AR and VR works fossilize and dislodge notions of interactivity, accessibility and permanence. Often, abstract ideas of audiences and the public are invoked to justify decisions in the content and the presentation of works. These pieces provide insights into the material and experiential realities of specific communities. …

Digital avatars surround a white figure with floating white dots interspersed through a virtual world during the Immerse world hop of Venice VR Expanded 2021. This image is a screenshot from Joe Hunting’s video, Immerse x Venice.
Still from Joe Hunting’s footage of the Immerse x Venice VR Expanded world hop, within World.Execute (Me) by Skuld. This virtual world is a visual interpretation of the song “World.execute(me)” by Mili.

To kick off Making the Metaverse, our current series — and Immerse’s 5th year anniversary — we commissioned this videographic essay from trailblazing VRChat documentarian Joe Hunting. In this 5 minute piece, Immerse x Venice, Hunting documents a whirlwind meet-up experienced and filmed entirely in the virtual platform VRChat, as Liz Rosenthal and Michel Reilhac, curators of the Venice Film Festival’s VR Expanded program, take us on a world-hop through several Venice VR Expanded worlds. We first pick up bespoke avatars in Venice VR’s avatar gallery, then fly through a music video landscape, jump through portals, and get lost in…

Submission guidelines for our next special issue, in October/November 2021

October 2021 will be Immerse’s 5th anniversary: taking inspiration from the critical futurist spirit of the first issue, the theme for our 40th issue is Making the Metaverse.

The theme will launch with an interview between editor Abby Sun and Venice VR Expanded co-curators Liz Rosenthal and Michel Reilhac on the distributed potential of the new Virtual Worlds Gallery section and social VR. This text-based piece will be accompanied by a videographic contribution from a pioneer in VR filmmaking, Little Poe, documenting the Immerse-sponsored World Hop Tour through several Venice VR Expanded virtual worlds. …

About the issue

For the “Playing with Reality” issue of Immerse, we started by thinking about games as a vehicle for nonfiction methods of recording, mediating, and conveying reality. Many immersive nonfiction projects are built with game engines and experienced with the same gear or through the same platforms. The direct crossovers in software and hardware, however, are but one way of considering the importance of considering games in our field. In covering developments of a broad range of games, from the self-aware hijinks of lyric games to the utility of business-oriented strategy card decks (the latter from Immerse publisher Jessica Clark), we…

A speculative fiction from the Guild of Future Architects and the Omidyar Network’s PORTALS report

by Kamal Sinclair

The following piece of speculative fiction, taking place 15 years from now in 2036, is a response to one of the four provocations in PORTALS: “What if shared well-being became the standard of success for our nations?”

Published in April 2021, the Omidyar Network and Guild of Future Architects’ PORTALS report imagines shared futures arising out of our current pandemic era instead of further disaster capitalism. The report is organized by four provocations and generated through a series of virtual sessions where the Guild invited 1,000 to discuss how systems could become more equitable and just in 15 years. The first provocation: “What if shared well-being became the standard of success for our nations?” Each section then starts answering the provocation with a piece of speculative fiction that places the reader in 2036. This…

James T. Green adapts a talk given at UnionDocs’ 2020 Podcast School, exploring time and space in experiential stories

by James T. Green

Originally published on Green’s personal site.

I want to start this talk beyond the Zoom windows and into a physical location. This talk begins in Brower Park. Brower Park is a local park in my neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It used to be called Bedford Park and was “purchased” in 1892. It was named after the Brooklyn Parks Commissioner George V. Brower.

Photograph of a historical marker of Shirley Chisholm Circle in Brower Park

Decades later, at the top of the park, a paved circular terrace alongside Kingston Avenue was named after Shirley Chisholm. …

Thank you for being a part of Immerse. If you’ve been reading along, you know that this online Medium publication is designed to spark critical dialogue about nonfiction storytelling on emerging platforms.

Immerse is not just a publication: It’s a community, a place to ask honest questions about what emerging forms mean and how they work. We welcome diverse perspectives from around the world. Immerse emerged from a listserv sparked by a meeting held in New York, and now we’ve got readers and contributors from Jerusalem, Portugal, Greece, Taiwan, South Africa, Russia, and points beyond.

You can support us in…

Submission guidelines for our next special issue, in May/June 2021

Playing With Reality, Immerse’s May/June 2021 issue, will be themed around games and nonfiction media. We are interested in probing the influence of game engines, tools, infrastructure, and logics on immersive nonfiction storytelling projects. We are also interested in how immersive and emerging forms of nonfiction interact with and in turn affect gaming platforms, spaces, narratives, and notions of audiences.

We are seeking proposals for pieces of 1200–1500 words that critically and imaginatively reflect on these approaches. From our last open call, we accepted proposals from writers such as Julie Fukunaga, Lara Chapman, Cheng Mun Chang, and more.

The following…

If you’d like someone to speak at an event, or would like to incorporate Making a New Reality into your college and business program, contact Jessica Clark for information.

What have months of experimenting with new modes of artistic curation and consumption taught us about our shared futures?

Designed and produced by PHI in collaboration with Immerse, the Emergence issue traces the virtual and hybrid approaches, research, and conversations initiated by Montreal’s PHI through multiple COVID-19 related lockdowns. Drawing on deep community ties, production expertise, and a commitment to serving the public, these pieces offer new perspectives on the role of gatekeepers and exhibition platforms.

This issue is edited by PHI in collaboration with Abby Sun and Carrie McLaren.


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