Immersive Storytelling Week 8

In lecture this week, we discussed live performance as immersion. One of the examples mentioned was Les Miserable, in which the audience becomes immersed in the different settings that are presented. Another example was Christianity in Europe, in which the story of the cross is reenacted to immerse followers in the experience of Christ and strengthen their faith. The example that was the most interesting to me was Marina Abramovic’s performance art at the MoMA, where she sats in a chair and stared at the people who sit across from her for hours each day, continuously for 3 months. Speculators lined up for hours to wait for the experience of sitting across from the artist and engage in the neutral gaze. It demonstrates the enormous need for humans to have contact with other humans – to be immersed in each other, rather than our technology –  and how people are so alienated from each other despite being in New York City, one of the busiest cities in the world. Abramovic not only created an immersive experience for herself; she also created a stage for her audience to allow them to reflect and engage in their raw emotions. Perhaps the most immersive experiences stem from human interaction rather than the advanced technological innovations that enable virtual experiences.

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