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© Allison Crank

It has a certain consequence that with Raumwelten, of all things, an established event that deals with communication in space at the intersection of scenography, architecture and media is shifting completely into cyberspace. After hybrid events during the Corona years 2020 and 2021, the eleventh edition of Raumwelten from 16-18 November 2022 will be presented exclusively in the “Raumwelten VR Hub”: a digital multi-user experience, according to the organisers, that is equally accessible on mobile, desktop and virtual reality devices. The threshold is low – participation is free for all and the technology based on “Mozilla Hubs”, which already proved its worth at the last Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film organised by the same organisers, has no special requirements: It works in 3D with common VR headsets, but also in 2D in the browser, as long as there is a decent internet connection.

By extending the project to cyberspace, the spatial worlds are to experience a significant internationalisation. Accordingly, English is the conference language, flanked by local offerings such as a pop-up exhibition at the Ludwigsburg Museum, which will offer its visitors VR experiences, among other things. This year’s curator is the American UX designer Allison Crank, who will focus the event on topics such as immersion and social experiences in virtual media. The motto /imagine refers to the input prompt of the “Midjourney” project, an artificial intelligence that generates images from text input and was also used in the design of the VR Hub. The lectures are to take the form of virtual tours in which concepts are presented in space – a decided departure from the dreaded zoom tiles of many recent online conference formats. Parallel to such live events, the VR platform will also serve as an archive for the lectures held and as a meeting place for the participants.

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