Audience Participation in Digital Culture

Terra Incognita. Mixed Reality as Experienced by Users by Rariţa Szakáts and Laura Codreanu

Posted by Pavel Sedlak on May 18, 2008

Terra Incognita. Mixed reality as experienced by users

Rariţa Szakáts and Laura Codreanu

“Terra Incognita” is a series of real/virtual exploration events developed by AltArt between 2000-2006. The projects were conceived as multiplayer game platforms, commenting social changes in Romania. The four editions of “Terra Incognita” covered issues like traveling via telepresence, the fading communist heritage, urban legends or local/european values. The presentation gives an overview of the user experiences that the various mixed reality platforms of Terra Incognita has enabled. The level of audience participation and their direct experience varied from one edition to the other: in “TI1” – virtually exploring remote territories and uncharted cultures by guiding a team of real travelers; in “TI2” – moving around avatars in order to re-immerse in the past by getting to know communist cultures similar to their own; in “TI3” – active input of personal stories and experiences that became landmarks in the “urban community map” they created on the game platform; and in “TI4” – creating their own avatars and virtually traveling around European cities while at the same time competing with each other and cooperating with each other in discovering the European values.

Bio: Rariţa Szakáts (RO) works as arts manager and cultural policymaker. She graduated the University of Arts and Design in Cluj, Romania (2003) and holds a second BA in Journalism at Babes Bolyai University Cluj, Romania (1997). During the past ten years she worked in fields such as culture, media, democracy and minority rights in different nongovernmental organizations: AltArt Foundation, Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center, Soros Foundation for an Open Society Romania. Rariţa Szakáts is part of the AltArt creative team and the executive director of the foundation. Born in 1975, Rariţa Szakáts lives and works in Cluj, Romania.

Bio: Laura Codreanu (RO) was born in 1976 in Cluj, Romania. She currently works as arts manager and editor. She graduated the University of Arts and Design in Cluj, Romania (2003) – photography – video and computer image section and the Babes Bolyai University Cluj – Spanish and English Language and Literature (2003) and Journalism (1997). She worked in book publishing, advertising, culture, media, illustration and design (for Saga Publishing House, Echinox Magazine, Netsoft Systems, AltArt Foundation, Soros Foundation for an Open Society Romania). She is presently working as project coordinator in the AltArt Foundation.

AltArt Foundation: Among the cultural phenomena we witness in Romania during the last 10 years, digital culture is the field with the most spectacular growth. Its manifestations – opens source culture and file sharing, chat, net art, gaming, blogs a.o. – are more and more present in the life of the community, generating debates, opinions, social and economic imapacts, loss and gain, so to say …progress. AltArt is commited to supporting the development of digital culture in Romania. AltArt work includes urban exploration projects, exhibitions, professional development for artists and cultural managers, workshops in animation, film and the creative use of new technology, public screenings and debates, research and policy development. AltArt runs in Cluj the Binar Centre – a lab for arts and technologies that offers resources in the field of digital culture through a documentation collection, open workshops and a showcase of European new media arts projects.

One Response to “Terra Incognita. Mixed Reality as Experienced by Users by Rariţa Szakáts and Laura Codreanu”

  1. […] 13.40–14.05 Rarita Szakats: Terra incognita: Mixed Reality as Experienced by Users […]

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