Research Group Electronic Literature

Poetics and Politics of Virtual Reality

What are the poetics of virtual reality? Can virtual reality artworks be political?

Photograph of a VR headset.
Maurizio Pesce

Main content

Researchers from the US, Europe, and Hong Kong will present research and creative work on the theme of Poetics and Politics of Virtual Reality. Presentations will include both theoretical talks and creative work that address the juxtaposition of virtuality, contemporary VR technologies, aesthetics, and political reality. 

Presenters will include: Scott Rettberg, Jill Walker Rettberg, Judd Morrissey, Stuart Moulthrop, Jhave Johnston, Daniel Howe, Olli Leino, John Cayley, Elisabeth Losh, Anne Karhio, and Chris Funkhouser.

This project is funded by a SPIRE internationalisation grant from the University of Bergen and results from a partnership between the University of Bergen Electronic Literature Research Group and the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong.


July 13 (University of Bergen, HF Building, Room 400)

11-12 UiB and City University of Hong Kong Participants Meeting about student exchange and research cooperation

[lunch for invited participants]

1-1:30 Anne Karhio: Poetry is Virtual? Verbal aesthetic and the art of immersion

1:30-2 Odile Farge: Software and the Rhetoric of Creative Authoring

2-2:30 Olli Tapio Leino: Technological Play in the Era of Neoliberal Capitalism: Free-to- Play, eSports, Gamification, and, Big Data/Blood Data

2:30-3 Chris Funkhouser: Virtual Orchestrations in Text & Sound

3:3:30 Flextime / coffee.

[Invited participants: 3:30-4 Poetics and Politics of Virtual Reality book project brainstorming]

Friday, July 14 (Bergen Public Library Auditorium)

Bergen Public Library Auditorium

10-10:30: Elizabeth LoshWitnesses, Bystanders, and Hangers-On: Virtual Reality Journalism and the Limits of Interventionism 

10:30-11: Stuart Moulthrop: Alternate Reality Must Be Broken 

11-11:30: Daniel Howe: 'Big Data' and the Aestheticization of Critique

11:30-12: Jill Walker Rettberg: Perspective as Algorithm: Central Perspective from Alberti to Google Street View

12-1: Lunch in Amelia’s Hage (Library Café)

Bergen Public Library U-Rom (or auditorium TBD) 

1-1:30 Scott Rettberg: Addressing Torture in Iraq through Critical Digital Media Art—Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project

1:30-2 John Cayley: Writing3D in the University: for more than a decade

2-2:30 David Jhave Johnston: Configuring Consciousness (and/or Curved)

2:30-3 Judd Morrissey: Veins of Place

3-4 Explore VRPlay with and explore library VR equipment, works-in-progress, demos, etc.

5-6:30 Fløyen excursion

7-10 Dinner out for presenters TBD