BEING (T)HERE: EXPERIENCING PLACE AND PRESENCE IN AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY DOCUMENTARY PROJECTS
Annie Berman’s Oculus Rift documentary Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! explores the remnants of Second Life, a formerly thriving virtual 3D world, and investigates its susceptibility to the same economic pitfalls that plague our ‘real’ world. The expedition travels through a largely abandoned virtual 3D world in search of utopia, a place (literally defined as “no place”) that represented a perfect society.
Samara Smith’s On Hamburger Square is an augmented reality audio documentary exploring the history and character of Hamburger Square, Greensboro, NC’s first town square. Participants explore the square with an map guiding them to objects such as monuments, public art and signs.
Sarah Nelson Wright’s Over the River is a virtual reality experience of a unique landscape that recently vanished from New York City’s waterfront. Hunter’s Point South is a large, formerly industrial site built on layers of landfill that was left fallow for 40 years and grew into a verdant forest with robust ecology.