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This trend is a step further into interactive art, combining interaction with immersion in a virtual reality environment (mostly). Immersion is defined as the state of consciousness where a person’s awareness of physical self is diminished or lost by being surrounded in an engrossing total environment - often artificial. The term is widely used for describing immersive virtual reality, installation art and video games. This trend is obviously concerned with the art aspect. An immersive digital environment is an artificial, interactive, computer-created scene or "world" within which users can immerse themselves. Interactive art is generally considered to be something physical and solid to be messed with and moved around, but this trend incorporates computer and, often, projection or film technology. The whole idea is to involve the audience in a virtual, immersive experience. I titled this trend as “hyper-interactivism” or “immersionism” because of that extra level of involvement.
One artist, Maurice Benayoun, created the Tunnel Under the Atlantic and Cosmopolis. The Tunnel features an “entrance” in Paris and one in Monreal, allowing people in those areas to view each other by what has been described as “televirtuality.” Cosmopolis is a very large-scale rotunda of sorts with 12 screens facing a center. There are 12 little view stations that each show a 360 degree view of one of 12 cities. What is being viewed from those view-finders at a particular moment is projected onto the screens, creating a giant 360 degree view of a cityscape created by bits of other cities.
Another artist, Don Ritter, created Vested and Intersection. Intersection features a dark room with 4 speakers representing a 4-lane highway. Each speaker contains a sensor that, when it senses a person, will react by projecting sounds of cars screeching to a halt, accelerating, or crashing.
The last artist I chose for my presentation is Myron W. Krueger. He is an American computer artist who developed early interactive works, and is in the first generation of virtual reality researchers. One of his ideas sums up my trend well: the art of interactivity, as opposed to art that happens to be interactive. He did several pieces of art leading up to this bigger virtual immersion art in the late 60s and early 70s. The piece I featured was Small Planet, which allows the user to stand in from and control what he viewed of this small planet by moving his arms in an airplane fashion.