ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM Virtual reality: dispositives, aesthetics, images.

deadline for submissions: 
July 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
arianna novaga
contact email: 

During the academic year 2017/2018, the Department of Communication of  IUSVE - Salesian University Institute of Venice,  is promoting a research project named Virtual reality: dispositives, aesthetics, images.

The aim is to elaborate new interdisciplinary methodological study tools able to identify, recognize and understand the relationships that are going on between virtual reality and cinema, photography and aesthetics analyzing the theoretical-artistic knots that characterize their possible interactions.

The one-day symposium, organized at the campus of Verona of the IUSVE, proposes  creating an opportunity for exchanges between scholars, specialists and experts on the subject, in order to contribute to the ongoing debate, comparing different points of view and highlighting any problems in a perspective of sharing approaches and tools.




As Pierre Lévy says, the contemporary era is characterized by a general virtualization movement that, investing the whole world of human activities - from information to economics, from art to communication - has revealed a number of new cognitive and pragmatic categories.

The sphere of the image has substantially changed and  the concept of perception has also changed, that is no longer necessarily linked to a bi-dimensional level and to a screen, but which  involves several sensory aspects.

Can we, indeed, conceive virtual reality as an extension of cinema and photography and consider it by means of traditional linguistic criteria and analytical systems? Or is it something brand new?

What are the repercussions of these changes on the concepts of author, spectator, photography and film space, or more generally on the scopic regime?

What does it mean, then, when we talk about virtual reality? What is its genesis and what are its prodromes? Which developments prefigure in the artistic and communication field?  Will the exercise of virtuality  decree the death of the cinematographic and photographic analogical medium?

If virtual reality involves, then, the disappearance of the dimension of the other, as we have known so far, if there is no longer a true "other" with which we are confronted and all  experience  seems closed in a self- referential narcissism, how is it possible “to make society” and communication?

The derivative concepts  of virtual reality, immersivity and empathy, and some of the specific features of perceptual experience put into practice by virtual reality end up making dialogues on the same plane as phenomenology and neuroscience, often seen as opposites and irreconcilable.

What does it mean, in aesthetic terms, this research of immersivity? Which neurological stimuli, which perceptual modalities does the virtual environment stimulate? What kind of role do  the body and the mind of the viewer have? What kind of role , in this new perceptual horizon, do  (post)cinema and  digital photography have? Is virtual reality a new medium able to re-mediate our perception of the world? In which places do we enjoy virtual reality today?


All interested parties are invited to propose papers relating to the following domains:


Aesthetics of virtuality


Virtual and artistic practices

Visual studies


Film & Media studies

Digital Humanities

Photography and virtual reality





We invite interested parties to send an abstract in Italian or in English (max 2,000 characters including spaces) with the title and, in a separate file, a short biography with contact details, University or Entity and mailing address.

The proposal must be mailed in .doc / .pdf format at the same time to the addresses of the three coordinators (,, not later than 30th  July 2017.


Communication of the selection will take place by 31st  August 2017 via mail.

The date for the final delivery of the contribution is November 16th.


All contributors to the one-day symposium will be published in a volume edited by the organizers and scheduled for