Immersivity and Technological Innovations is an international, interdisciplinary (and above all virtual) conference on immersivity in all its forms and the technological innovations associated with it. Organized by Philippe Bédard (University of Montreal), Alanna Thain (McGill University) and Carl Therrien (University of Montreal), the event took place online from October 26 to 30, 2020.
While virtual reality is currently experiencing a renaissance since the release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets in 2016, it has been around for much longer. The objective of this event was to question the importance of “new technologies” that we associate today with virtual reality and immersive media in general in order to address the notion of immersivity in its most diverse meanings. Thus, the original call for contributions underlined the importance of considering cinema and video games, but also oral and scriptural narratives, painting and architecture as so many technological innovations that have made it possible to promote the immersive character of ‘a media experience. The proposals retained reflected this plural conception of immersivity by dealing just as much with virtual reality in its current form as with the most varied immersive technologies, including the Cinéorama of Raoul Grimoin-Sanson, the oral history of the Sahrawi people, stereoscopic 3D and the rigged Percepto cinema seat.
While originally scheduled for June 2020, the Immersivity conference had to adapt, like many other events this year, to the COVID-19 pandemic. So the decision was made in March to postpone the event until fall and turn it into a mostly virtual event. The following videos are the recordings of the conferences given on Zoom from October 26 to 30, 2020.