Reality Continuum Special

PICNIC '09 Special

Today, all around the world, individuals from every walk oflife find their daily lives intermediated by digital media. We discover the most up-to-date news online, we navigate from one place to another thanks to talking GPS systems, we make new "friends" on digital social networks, and we learn interactively without the physical presence of a teacher. In truth, digital interactions are increasingly perceived as at least as "real" as thie analogue correlates. What does this presage for our collective understanding of social and political dynamics? How will these augmented realities affect our ability to understand the world around us and take actions that result in a better world?

Please note: YOU MUST HAVE A PICNIC CONFERENCE OR FESTIVAL TICKET TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SESSION. Clicking on Count Me In simply indicates your interest in participating. The final selection of attendees is decided by our partner for this session.

Nonny de la Peña and Peggy Weil have been pusing the boundaries of "Immersive Journalism" for some time. Their GONE GITMO project invited Second Life players to participate in a harrowing recreations of the Guantanamo Bay prison complex. The more recent IPSRESS (Induction of Psycho-Somatic Distress in Virtual Reality) Project, a collaboration with the EVENT LAB's Mel Slater and Maria-Sanchez-Vives, uses a head-mounted display to simulate the experience of being held in an interrogation cell.

Antonio Camara's most recent work provides a window into Augmented Cities. Using a Powers-of-Ten approach, participants can take advantage of augmented reality at the micro-scale to visualize things like the inner workings of utility networks. At the intermediate scale, individuals might take advantage of virtual sightseeing opportunities. At the macro-scale, massive interactive projections are possible.

Moderator Suzane Stefanac will provide additional examples of the confluence of digital and analogue realities and invite the audience to comment and hypothesize on future extensions of these emerging Reality Continuums.