provocations #3 – locammersive

I’m in Amsterdam at a documentary festival, I am sitting at a table on which I see a map of the Netherlands, I put on a VR headset, the room around me disappears, as does my own body, but I find myself looking at the same table, even though I can’t see my hands I can feel the table, I feel more present in this virtual space than in most. A simple interface means that I can move a virtual pointer by moving my head, it allows me to find out about places on the map, even giving me zoomed in districts, 3d satellite imagery that floats above the map. I’m invited to explore deeper, by focusing on a point in a district I can find out more, when I do a beautifully rendered 3D model of an antique shop appears on the table in front of me. I can’t feel it but I can still put my hands on the table to lean over and put my head right inside it. This consistent physical connection keeps me stable. But there is something more, this piece, ‘the industry’ by Mirka Duijn…. is a documentary about the illegal drug trade in the Netherlands. About suburban king pins, dock workers and money laundering nail salons. And right now I’m in the middle of it, not just within the piece, but experiencing it in Amsterdam, afterwards as I walk the dutch streets I feel myself walking through this invisible network. The immersion of the virtual reality extends into the world around it in space I time, but I think I only feel it because I am in the Netherlands, it is loca-mersive.

( extracted from my performance text on immersion language and inversion )