What does it mean to have a bodily interface to virtual socialisation spaces? You might have heard about VRChat or other massive multiplayer online role playing games; The creators and endorsers of these realms are essentially selling it on the foundation of building stronger connections to other people, achieving perfection, and finding beauty ideals that don't exist in the non-virtual world.
Ironically, these are all aspects of life that virtual reality might take away from us in the future, so it’s important to discuss the impact that they will have on our society.
In order to experience such a Metaverse, we will slip into the role of a flaneur, strolling through the bits and bytes of VRchat, discussing topics like new physicality, infinite scales of virtual connection, bodily interfaces and the nature of human interaction.
This course is supported by Department of Research at Bauhaus-University Weimar and is part of a Fellowship for a ”Forschungswerkstatt” dedicated to finding an experimental framework for a laboratory with its own methods, rules and documentation formats. Therefore, we invite every participant to be a researcher in our team throughout the semester. The focus of the course is not about learning new software and technology, but rather about thinking together how specific software and technology might change social interaction in the present and future.
Thus, we expect self-motivated work and active participation in the course. To complete the course, it is mandatory to submit a project at the end of the semester that will contribute to our collective research. How participants will approach their final submission methodologically or which discourses are contextualized, is completely up to each person. We welcome all sorts of documentation formats, be it audio- and/or visual works in any form or purely written essays.
In the first session of the block module, we will present several case studies that participants can incorporate in their own work by the end of the semester. These case studies will also form the basis for discussion in the course. During the sessions, participants are not only exposed to different discourses, but also participate in hands-on group tasks, such as gaming sessions or testing different interfaces for interacting with digital matter.
Another goal of our mobile laboratory is to travel and visit other groups and institutions. Participants are invited to visit other events that will be announced during the semester. These events will happen between Weimar, Leipzig and possibly other places in Europe.