A visit to Enter New Babylon
Big tech companies are investing billions in so-called immersive technology. These include virtual reality (VR), where you step into a digital world through VR glasses and augmented reality (AR), where you lay a digital layer over physical reality via glasses or your phone. According to them, the technology would result in a so-called metaverse, the “new internet”, something you don’t go on, but in.
For the podcast, researchers Stefan Roolvink and Wouter Nieuwenhuizen visited places where this technology is already being implemented. They take listeners to schools, museums and a mental health clinic. They also talk to philosophers, artists and psychologists about the opportunities and risks of this technology. In the first episode, they visit the virtual and mixed reality installation Enter New Babylon, and speak to scenography students and Joris Weijdom, researcher and designer from the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. In Enter New Babylon, visitors could experience four immersive worlds, narrated and designed by young activist spoken word artists and designers, respectively. The installation, part of the anniversary project Constant 101, investigates the possibilities and limits of the future world New Babylon that Constant envisioned.