Post-immersion: Towards a Discursive Situation in Media Arts


Session Title:

  • Machinic Sense & Sensibility: The Problem with Immersion

Presentation Title:

  • Post-immersion: Towards a Discursive Situation in Media Arts



  • Immersion is a much-fetishized word in the domain of media arts. It is through immersion that the audiences are often made to engage with the media artworks. In these works, immersion operates as a context for realizing the production of presence as an illusion of non-mediation (Reiter, Grimshaw et al.). The main concern of this paper, and the corresponding artworks, is whether the audience tends to become a passive and non-acting guest within the machinic immersive space often constructed by an authoritarian and technocratic consumer-corporate culture and driven by machine sensibility. I will argue in the paper that in this mode of non-activity the audience may lose the motivation to question the content and context of the work by falling into a sensual and indulgent mode of experience, therefore rendering the consumerist-corporate powers to take over the free will of the audience. From the position of a media artist myself, in this paper I will argue for producing a discursive environment with a human agency rather than a machinic immersive one. I will examine the possibility to create artworks where the individuality of the audience is carefully considered and taken into account as a parameter for the artwork’s dissemination.