This doctoral project brings to the fore the specificity of the artistic experience when the Virtual Reality Cube, a medium based on immersive virtual reality technology, is used as artistic virtual space.
– With Virtual Reality and digital media, it is possible to create imaginary worlds and artworks that physically immerse the audience. Both artist and spectators can enter the artwork and become participants “on stage”. But what happens within the artwork are mere illusions created by three-dimensional artefacts, illusions created by animation, says Magali-Ljungar Chapelon.
Magali Ljungar-Chapelon coins the term that characterises this kind of immersive journey between illusion and reality: a VR arts play (a Virtual Reality arts play).

In her research project, Magali Ljungar-Chapelon has created such a VR artwork in the Virtual Reality Cube at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Audience surveys show that the respondents, both children and adults, thought that this type of VR artwork opens up ways to new experiences and crossovers between different artistic forms of expression and computer games.
– What appears as the most unique aspect of the experience, in the eye of the spectator, is the opportunity to experience fictive, imaginary worlds and characters that cannot be represented by other means than through an immersive virtual reality medium, says Magali Ljungar-Chapelon.

This dissertation consists of three integrated parts: a written thesis, a VR arts play called Le Beau, le Laid, le Bon et le Mauvais, (The Beautiful, the Ugly, the Good and the Bad) and a DVD, which illustrates the text, the production process of the VR work, and which also presents an interpretation of the research results in filmic and photographic form.

Pictures and the film about the artwork, which was created together with the photographer Sandra Andersson, will be presented at the public defence.

The dissertation is the first at the School of Photography and is the result of a long-term, interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg.

Title of the dissertation: Actor-Spectator in a Virtual Reality Arts Play, Towards new artistic experiences in between illusion and reality in immersive virtual environments
Faculty examiner: Pelle Ehn, Ph.D. in Informatics and Professor at K3 – The School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University, Sweden

Time & Place of Public Defence
Tuesday 27th January 2009, at 1 p.m.
School of Photography, University of Gothenburg
Visiting address: Storgatan 43, Göteborg, ‘Robert Frank-salen’

For a reviewer’s copy of the dissertation:
Mia Lockman-Lundgren
phone:+46 (0)31 786 1828

Further information:
WebTV: The Land of Science
School of Photography
Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg