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Paula Strunden

Unveiling the Virtual World: A Multisensory Exploration Beyond Sight and Sound in Extended Reality


Infra-thin Magick: An XR Ceremony by Paula Strunden, Exhibit Gallery, 2022

© Maria Belova

Today, Virtual Reality (VR) is often limited to its audiovisual capabilities, functioning as a mere mode of digital representation. This lecture expands upon this limited perspective by exploring VR's potential beyond sight and sound to investigate the multi-modal and syn-aesthetic nature of spatial perception. Instead of experiencing the physical within the virtual, Paula Strunden's work explores how to experience the virtual physically - with and through our bodies. By presenting a series of on-going and open-ended performative 1:1 extended reality models, VR is discussed from a phenomenological perspective and examined for its potential to enhance intuitive and embodied design and decision-making processes.

Paula Strunden is a transdisciplinary VR artist with a background in architecture. She studied in Vienna, Paris and London and worked at Raumlabor Berlin and Herzog & de Meuron Basel. Since 2020, she conducts her design-led PhD as part of the European research network Communities of Tacit Knowledge (TACK): Architecture and its Ways of Knowing under the direction of Angelika Schnell at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her room-scale extended reality (XR) installations have been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts London, Eye Filmmuseum Amsterdam, Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam, and nominated for the Dutch Film Award “Gouden Calf” in the category Best Interactive (2020). Paula is co-founder of the educational initiative Virtual Fruits and leads workshops, after-school clubs and summer schools at public universities and cultural institutions as part of her associate position at Store Projects. Through her internet platform www.xr-atlas.org, she advocates an interdisciplinary historiography of virtual technologies and teaches courses at the Architectural Association London, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Academia van Bouwkunst Amsterdam.

Guest lecture, 18.01.2023