VR Utopia: Experiments in Radical Community for Artists, Designers, and Social Researchers (working title)

Dalida Maria Benfield , Gabriel Pereira, Evelyne Eastmond, M. Eifler, Christopher Bratton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


There is an urgent need for affectively rich virtual environments for creative collaboration for international and radically diverse communities of researchers using arts-based methods. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a bright light on an already existing gap in platforms for individual artists, researchers, and global arts research communities who wish to exchange and build new knowledge towards social justice through effective virtual spaces beyond video conferencing. This essay will reflect on one such experiment: An iterative, experimental virtual reality space for knowledge exchange and collaboration for the global community of artists, designers, and transdisciplinary researchers of the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research (CAD+SR), co-designed with design researchers M. Eifler and Evelyn Eastmond (Microsoft) and a focus group of CAD+SR. In July 2020, the authors led this process of creating a remote-spatial collaboration space in Mozilla Hubs for the group’s virtual research residency. This essay will share their individual experiences, reflections, and questions, as well as frame the first-person responses of the collaborating artists and researchers who co-created and engaged the space. Collaborators created multiple forms of virtual reality exhibitions and exchanges, and the space was activated and felt peopled, providing, although varied, a significant sense of affective connection, despite considerable differences in technology literacy, hardware, and Internet or cellular data access.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArt as Social Practice: Technologies for Change
Editorsxtine burroughs, Judith Walgren
Number of pages30
Publication statusIn preparation - 15 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeD2 Article in a professional research book (incl. an introduction by the editor)

Field of art

  • Contemporary art


Dive into the research topics of 'VR Utopia: Experiments in Radical Community for Artists, Designers, and Social Researchers (working title)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this