Alum Brooke Belisle Edits Journal on Virtual Reality

29 Apr, 2020

Alum Brooke Belisle Edits Journal on Virtual Reality

Our BCNM alum Brooke Belisle (Stony Brook University) co-edited the Journal of Visual Culture's issue on Virtual Reality: Immersion and Empathy. Brooke guest-edited the issue with Paul Roquet.

Brooke and Paul co-wrote the guest-editor's introduction, framing the works, and the 'hype cycle' in which technology is situated.

From the introduction:

This themed issue of Journal of Visual Culture includes work from both emerging scholars and well-established voices who have long shaped the discourse on VR. The articles here build on previous scholarship while also rethinking VR in light of the pressing cultural and technological issues that have since come to the fore. VR is a medium few would claim to have fully figured out, with everything from basic aesthetic principles to larger hardware and software standards still in continuous flux. The shape of the VR industry even five or ten years from now is difficult to predict, even as it appears likely it will persist in some form. Rather than attempting to predict the future, this issue considers the current stakes of immersive media today. Rather than attempting to define what VR really is, was, or will be, these articles aim to engage questions about our contemporary technological context that VR’s shifting instantiations make it particularly well positioned to answer.

Brooke also contributed the fascinating article "Whole World Within Reach: Google Earth VR." From the abstract:

Google Earth VR (GEVR), released in 2017, claims to put the whole world within reach using virtual reality (VR). Relying on sensors that track a user’s position and gestures in actual space, GEVR suggests that users can experience its virtual Earth in the same way that they experience the real one: as a world they actively embody rather than a representation they examine from the outside. While GEVR conjures a dematerialized world, it also interrogates how what counts as a material world may always be suspended between embodied, technical, and aesthetic mediations. If ‘the whole world’ – which exceeds individual perception – can only be conceived through aesthetic logics, what do the particular aesthetics of GEVR tell us about the way our world is imaged and imagined today? What are the implications of the way it stages ‘worlding’ as a provisional, dimensional coordination? What does the disorienting experience it offers suggest about contemporary entanglements of perception and representation, body and world, the individual here-and-now and a global everywhere-at-once?

To read more, please see this website.