Immersive Media Art Lab (IMAL)


The Immersive Media Art Lab (IMAL) is a mobile collaborative framework for the creation and development of critical and structurally novel immersive media artworks. We test out specific ideas about how and why immersive illusions might be used in art contexts through the creation of unique projects. IMAL engages with questions such as: “How and why do humans aspire to create increasingly realistic simulations of lived experience? What kinds of intellectual and emotional experiences (if any) are intrinsic to 360-video or virtual reality? What kinds of new artistic expressions are made possible by immersive video and virtual reality? How does the scale and physical structure of a physical display impact a viewer’s experience of an artwork? Is it possible to create critical virtual reality art that theorizes about, analyzes, or demystifies mainstream entertainment and counters mind-numbing spectacle? If so, what does critical virtual reality look like?”

The work we perform in the lab is structured around the development and refinement of specific art projects. With each project the lab takes on, an exhibition structure is developed in tandem with a specific immersive artwork. In many cases, the structures we make are as much “sculpture” as they are “screen.” The physical objects we make and our media artworks – the “form” and “content” — are considered holistically.

The IMAL is funded in 2016-17 through the Experimental Humanities Initiative and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about our projects

Trading Futures, Ben Coonley (2016)

Look Inside, Hugh Hopkins (2017)