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Conference on Aesthetics in Digital Worlds

Report on the symposium virtu.real at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences

At the symposium virtu.real

New media technology such as virtual reality and 360-degree video is changing art. The international symposium virtu.real at St. Pölten UAS, the Internationalen Gesellschaft für polyästhetische Erziehung (IGPE) (International Society of Polyaesthetic Education) and the PolyArt StudioSvec (PASS) devoted itself last week to the topic of aesthetics in the digital world with specialist lectures and art performances.

Permanent moment and aesthetic awareness

The symposium investigated, among other things, the question of whether there is still an aesthetic awareness and an aesthetic educational mission in a (digital) world of the permanent moment. Researchers and artists presented projects in the fields of media art and digital teaching. 

"The virtual has become an all-encompassing network of functions, ideas, imagination, messages and wishful thinking. It has imposed itself on the everyday life of human beings, rewritten the history of mankind and situated people in permanent real time. Whatever binds us in a world of the virtual, what ultimately remains is the encounter in the real world. It places us in a relationship to the reality of life and defines a place for us as human beings", said Markus Wintersberger, Senior Lecturer for Experimental Media in the Department of Media and Digital Technologies at St. Pölten UAS and co-organizer of the event. 

Inundation with information and a view of the essential
"Polyaesthetics as a philosophically networked and reflected background of international polyaesthetic education defines itself as ‘questions about the deeper meaning of all sensual experience' -  as a search for the quality of life. Inundation with information can significantly and with serious consequences shift the view the essential. A dialogue scene on the text, "A Bauhaus of the Future" by the German philosopher Wolfgang Welsch thematised the three-day examination, which impressively established value- and responsibly-minded design spaces for digital forms of expression", explained Gerhard Hofbauer, President of the International Society for Polyaesthetic Education, which held its 30th international ‘polyaesthetic’ symposium at St. Pölten UAS. 

Virtual-reality-storytelling of the future

St. Pölten UAS presented its research and art project on literature, storytelling and media art in the virtual space: "Wearable Theatre - the Art of Immersive Storytelling". It examined virtual reality (VR) for its dramatic, narrative, and structural potential. The goal is the opening up and use of the 360°-VR medium as a form of experience for literary material. As the starting point of the study, authors with an existential-atmospheric narrative style were selected: Fjodor M. Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus and Max Frisch.

Symposium virtu.real - the aesthetics of the digital

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“Project "Wearable Theatre"

The "Wearable Theatre" project is funded by the Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung – FWF (Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research), in the framework of the Programms zu Entwicklung und Erschließung der Künste – PEEK (Programme for the Development and Opening Up of the Arts). The national research partner for the project is the OAA-Vienna Conservatory for Drama.