Translation of "Architecture as an art of immersion" (Architektur als Immersionskunst)

Sloterdijk, P
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Journal Article
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Enigma: he aupiki, Auckland, November 2011. Print production by McCollams, Auckland

Immersion and Immersionskunst (immersive art or art of immersion) are relatively new terms. They originate from the discourses of contemporary computer art, where immersion into synthetic perceptual worlds has been a lively topic since the late 1980s and early 1990s. We are dealing, therefore, with an arts practice that has come to be called immersion. Immersion, in this context, means to engage with one’s immersion in artificial environments, assisted by technical equipment, for instance a virtual reality helmet or an electronic visor. Through these technologies, humans are finally taken seriously as beings for whom it is natural to immerse themselves – and not only in water, the ‘wet element’, but in elements and environments generally. The method has been common for some time, for instance in the context of pilots’ training in flight simulators; however, the modern problem of hallucination management and immersive change was already anticipated in nineteenth century panoramas. A core aspect of artificial immersion, as a phenomenon, is the potential replacement of whole environments – not only of the images, usually framed, one looks at in galleries. Immersion as a method unframes images and vistas, dissolving the boundaries with their environment.

Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts, vol.12, pp.105 - 109
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