(Conference) Aesthetics & Critique VII – Beyond Reality? Virtuality and Experience (Fribourg, 14-16.12.2023)

The philosophical debate concerning virtuality has so far privileged metaphysical issues, asking whether or not virtual spaces and objects should be considered as real or illusory. With this conference, we suggest bracketing such metaphysical questions for a while and focus instead on the relationship between virtuality and experience. In this framework, we would like to favour a phenomenological approach that understands virtuality as a mode of experience that is often mediated by technology.

The range of questions that this conference aims to address includes, but is not limited to, the following: What does it mean to experience ‘virtuality’? What is the phenomenological structure of the virtual? How does experiencing a virtual world reshape our ordinary lives? What is the relationship between the virtual and the imaginary? What role does immersivity play in virtual environments? What distinguishes VR devices from other media? What is the space for empathy in virtual interactions? How is personal identity preserved but also transformed within virtual worlds?

Conference Schedule

Thursday 14 December – FriArt Kunsthalle, Fribourg

15.00 – Conference opening & greetings

15.15 – Oliver Krüger (Fribourg)Paradise regained? The promise of virtuality

16.30 – Coffee Break

17.00 – Lars Bang Larsen (Copenhagen)Take Me to Another World: Charlotte Johannesson and the externality of media and systems

18.30 – Guided Visit of the Exhibition by Charlotte Johannesson

Friday 15 December – University of Fribourg – MIS3016

09.00 – Paula Muhr (Karlsruhe)Immersive simulation as targeted stimulation: Using virtual reality as a visual tool in medical research on functional neurological disorder

10.00 – Fabrizia Bandi (Milan)Diving into virtual worlds: Digital image and immersive space in VR experiences

11.00 – Coffee Break

11.30 – Andrea Pinotti (Milan) – Nonumentality today between VR and AR

12.45 – Lunch Break

14.30 – Erika Temperino (Pisa)Being human in VR: Can virtual relationships be authentic?

15.30 – Anais Giannuzzo (Geneva)Creativity and virtual reality

16.30 – Coffee Break

17.00 – Aurora Hoel (NTNU) – Embodiment and the operationally real

18.15 – Conclusion

Saturday 16 December – University of Fribourg – MIS3016

09.30 – Zuzanna Rucinska (Antwerp)Experiencing virtual affordances

10.45 – Coffee Break

11.00 – Arthur Cools (Antwerp)Reflecting or consuming? A critique of aesthetic judgment in visual VR experiences

12.15 – Enrico Terrone (Genoa)An experiential taxonomy of depictive representations: From paintings and sculptures to virtual reality

13.30 – Conclusion