VR is capturing the imagination of documentary storytellers, journalists, artists, technologists and investors all over the world. An industry is emerging. Yet for all of its enthusiasts, VR has its skeptics. For all it is talked about, VR can be deeply misunderstood. Virtual reality means many things to many people: an immersive experience, a new tool for storytelling, a cluster of quite different technologies and techniques, and even an epistemological claim.
Current discussions around virtual reality blur technologies and techniques together when in fact they vary tremendously and are often considered distinct in other media. And each one has its own set of questions around the art, ethics and impact of spatial and embodied storytelling. Virtually There will explore the various strands of VR and their implications for representing reality, defining truths, and changing the documentary image and experience.
Virtually There was presented by MIT Open Documentary Lab, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Phi Centre. For more information about the conference, see the Virtually There website.