#860 DocLab: Critiquing Power Dynamics of Architectural Digital Recreations with Astrid Feringa

Astrid Feringa had a video essay installation at the IDFA DocLab where she was critiquing how the British Institute of Digital Archaeology was using photogrammetry to reconstruct a piece of destroyed architecture. What are the ethics around recreating destroyed pieces of cultural heritage? Who has the license or right to recreate architecture and create new narratives around it? What are the power dynamics of this process? Who benefits? Whose stories may be overwritten when this happens? This is a sample of some of the insightful and important questions that Feringa was asking in her video installation What they destroy, we will build again.

This project was catalyzed with Feringa attended a public unveiling of the Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph, which was a 2/3 scale model of the original arch that was destroyed by ISIS militants in Syria as an act of iconoclasm. The British Institute of Digital Archaeology gathered a lot of old photographs, and then created a 3D model of the arch, which was then etched into Egyptian marble. When Ferigna saw the arch paraded by Western leaders like Boris Johnson, then she started to look at the structural power dynamics at play and started to question whether the recreation itself was another destructive act of iconoclasm that was superseding the original narratives of the original arch that was destroyed. In this new age of volumetric reconstruction of architecture, then there are sorts of new ethical boundaries that need to be navigated, and Feringa is pointing out some of the potential blindspots of this type of cultural heritage when it may be just another form of cultural colonialism.

The actual video essay was split between two vertical screens, which functionally served to recreate the two columns of an arch. The soggy wet carpet and white blanket evoke the surreal nature of a public unveiling of the arch in what appear to be performative rituals of power. The immersive installation of the piece helps to amplify the weird juxtaposition of manufactured ancient architecture with soggy mass-produced industrial carpets that Feringa experienced when attending a ceremony after it had just rained.

Feringa’s background is in graphic design and design research, but she also attended a new Non-Linear Narrative program at the Royal Academy of Art at The Hague. She said that it was a program focused on developing critical theories around immersive, interactive, and
non-linear media. It’s through this program that she produced a short-film with Jean Baptiste Castel called This is Not the Amazon. This piece was shown during the Artificial Futures Symposium event at the IDFA DocLab, and it also cultivates an awareness of our relationship to the digital representations in our lives by deconstructing a virtual scene of nature.

I’m really glad that I’m starting to see critical theorists like Feringa engaging in analysis of what’s happening with interactive narratives and spatial computing. There’s still a lot of blindspots for creators as they pioneer applications and experiences that are blurring the contextual lines in ways that will continue to have all sorts of unintended consequences. I tried to map out some of these moral dilemmas at 60-minute main stage talk at AWE 2019, and then a distilled down 30-minute XR Ethics Manifesto. The issues that Feringa was bringing up in her video essay were novel issues that I hadn’t thought of before, and so there’s like many more new situations like these that need to have more interrogation as that weigh the desired intentions of preserving cultural heritage against the media spectacle and social reputational benefits and political capital that’s gained from the existing power dynamics.

I’m a strong believer in the power of dialect, and that immersive creators and immersive critiques need to work together in order to both produce better work as well as to discover the types of ethical blindspots that Ferginga is pointing out. This dynamic of the dialectic reminds of a clip of philosopher Agnes Callard that I watched before traveling to Amsterdam. Callard makes the argument in her book The Agency of Becoming that it’s impossible to both believe truths and avoid believing falsehoods because these are actually incompatiable to being done at the same time. But in order to generate knowledge, then you actually do you need to believe true things and avoid believing falsehoods.

Callard says that the genius of the Socratic method is that it allows for competing perspectives to collaborate with each other in the pursuit of the truth. Socrates realized is that you can achieve knowledge if there are two people who each take on the responsibility of one of the perspectives of arguing for the belief of truths while the other argues to avoid believing falsehoods. It’s an adversarial division of labor that needs both sides to be operating well in order to produce knowledge. It’s in that same spirit of the dialectic that we need pioneering immersive creators who are willing to to build a range of experiences, but also immersive critics like Ferginga who are deconstructing the underlying assumptions, biases, and power dynamics in order for the community of immersive creators to become more aware of these types of ethical blindspots.


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Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to The Voices of VR Podcast. So continuing on in my series of looking at some of the immersive storytelling innovations coming out of the Itfendak Lab in Amsterdam, today's interview is with Astrid Verenka. She's a filmmaker and artistic researcher, and she had a project there. It's called What They Destroy, We Will Build Again. So it's about this Arch of Pamir in Syria that got destroyed by the IS militants in Syria. And then the British Institute of Digital Archaeology took all this photogrammetry, they recreated it, and started to parade this arch around the world. And what Ostrad's saying is that this is just yet another act of iconoclastic appropriation of culture as a display of power. So really trying to look at this from a media theory or the power dynamics and the larger context of what this is happening. as we're entering into a world where anybody could start to do these different types of digital reconstructions, then how are these digital representations being used? How are they starting to be in relationship to the main narratives? Are they starting to overwrite the narratives? And so she's starting to explore a lot of these deeper questions. And so she had this whole media installation that was really exploring this very issue. So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Ostrid happened on Sunday, November 24th, 2019 at the InfraDocLab in Amsterdam, Netherlands. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:39.620] Astrid Feringa: My name is Astrid Veringa. I'm a filmmaker and artistic researcher. I do more research about the economies in which certain representations function... and how power structures have influence on these types of spaces. I did my bachelor's in graphic design, a very traditional graphic design in the Netherlands. And then I actually became more interested in the journalistic aspect of it. So more design research and also thinking more about responsibilities that come with design or with media in general. And from there on I went to do my master's in design research at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. It's a new program called Non-Linear Narrative. It's basically critical media theory design research studies. Yeah, mostly centered around filmmaking or interactive ways of telling narratives in a nonlinear way.

[00:02:36.123] Kent Bye: Yeah, so you have a piece here at the IFA DocLab where you're looking at architecture and digital representations and what happens to that. So maybe you could talk a bit about the genesis of this project and then how it evolved to this point of what you were able to show here at DocLab.

[00:02:52.649] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so basically it's a two-screen video installation and it talks about the replicated Arch of Palmyra. The Arch of Palmyra was a monument that stood in Palmyra in Syria and it has been destroyed in 2015 by IS militants as an act of contemporary iconoclasm. And in response to that, a British Institute for Digital Archaeology, they decided to replicate it, almost life-size, same material, etc. and they showcase it around the world in big western cities. Yeah, placing it in a different context every time. And through the video installation, it's called What They Destroy We Will Build Again. I actually critique or I question the replication of this as a showcase of power structures that are at play and also actually placing the reconstruction as an iconoclastic act as well by replacing the original.

[00:03:49.676] Kent Bye: So how were they able to reconstruct it? Was it through photogrammetry? Or did they actually do a laser scan? Or how were they able to actually replicate so precisely this arch?

[00:03:59.635] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so they decided to replicate it after it was gone already, so they couldn't do any reconstruction work like that. So the 3D model that has been created has been created through the use of a lot of basically tourist pictures. Yeah, it has been a very popular monument, touristic attraction for a very long time, so a lot of documentation on this thing has been going on already. So from all those different materials they created a 3D model and then that 3D model has not been 3D printed but 3D carved through CNC technology. So yeah, it's basically carving out of stone the 3D model that has been made.

[00:04:37.783] Kent Bye: So you have an arch in Syria that's destroyed by militants that then no longer exist, and you have a British institution come and replicate it and take it around the world traveling with it. And you were really questioning, like, what purpose is that serving with this power dynamic? So what were some of the power dynamics of what you were trying to unpack and critique here?

[00:04:58.610] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so one of the ideas that I like to think about in relation to this project is the idea of a landscape of power. So, of course, through the iconoclastic act of destruction, the militants tried to create a landscape of power by creating an empty landscape, clean slate. But then, on the other hand, by recreating the arch and placing it actually literally in landscapes that are under certain power dynamics, you're also creating a landscape of power. So, for example, it was exhibited for the first time at Trafalgar Square in London, where the arch was placed across from the National Gallery and lots of other national monuments that already have questionable roots, if you want to go into where those monuments come from and what the colonial roots of those monuments are. So yeah, at first I was interested in the combination of this recreated monument... in relation to the already existing monuments around it... and how the arch is always framing, through the opening of the arch... it's always framing some other monument. So it's never actually showing the full arch... but always kind of a gateway through what's already there. So for example the Capitol in Washington D.C. or the National Gallery in London, etc.

[00:06:13.276] Kent Bye: Yeah, well, I've been very interested in architecture recently this past year. In 2019, the Architectural Association had a whole summit on looking at the future of the immersive internet. And so I had a chance to meet a lot of different architects that are thinking about immersive technologies and actually a couple of people from forensic architecture. And there's some pieces that are here at the IFA doc lab where they were taking different satellite photos and giving spatial representations of the architecture of where these human rights violations were happening. You know, to take something that's so abstract as an Amnesty International report and then to tell a story but to tell it so spatially, I thought it was super powerful. And so I had seen that piece and then saw your piece to see how you're looking at this arch and really giving the full context of what was around this arch and what that cultural significance of that was in the specific location and then what's it mean once it's gone to then start to parade it around the world in different contexts. And so maybe could give a little bit more context as to what this arch was and what was around it and what it meant for that culture.

[00:07:18.892] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so it was actually part of a much bigger excavation site, the village of Palmyra, which had been inhabited until 1932, if I am correct. And then Syria became under the French mandate and actually the French decided to make the people leave they build another new village next to Palmyra called Tapmoer and that's where the people were sent and Palmyra itself became excavation sites like just like that and yeah there were lots of other monuments around and the arch actually stood as entrance or as a gateway to a very long colonnaded street so columns left and right It used to be part of the Silk Route, like a crucial position in the Silk Route. Basically everyone who passed the Silk Route from east to west or west to east would pass through the Arch of Palmyra. So it was kind of a beacon in the desert, if you could say it like that. And yeah, the architecture itself, it's Roman inspired, even though there were a lot of constructions that weren't Roman but then the most Roman or like the most relatable European relatable piece of architecture has been chosen to be replicated so I don't know that's maybe another kind of thing that I noticed but yeah Palmyra itself as a village already had a long history of being erased from its people and being isolated and also having this image created of an empty and forgotten ruin, like of an empty city that can be salvaged through documentation or that needs some kind of documentation in order to salvage it.

[00:08:56.947] Kent Bye: Well, it makes me think about this point that you're bringing up which is these representations these digital representations and then the license around like who has permission to be able to like who owns that but who has license to use it if it's within this certain cultural context and then you start to Reconstruct it through photogrammetry and then then rebuild it and then sort of recontextualize it then what are the implications of that culture and that heritage and then recontextualize to serve like other power dynamics and so like how would you suggest like making sense around like who has license and to be able to create these reproductions? And what's the line of what's OK to, if somebody else wanted to create a digital representation of this and put it in a virtual reality experience, then how do you navigate either the ethics or the different power dynamic structures that you're trying to critique here?

[00:09:48.962] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, there's been a lot of 3D environments also that have the recreated arch in it. And also recently Palmyra has been retrieved again and actually from the Syrian government there have been initiatives and speculations on how to rebuild the whole of Palmyra, so including the arch. So that's also kind of interesting that there's now going to be two parallel arches both being rebuilt in some kind of way and how to navigate this double reality in a way. But maybe that's a bit too meta for now. But I guess I would say it's not so much the technology itself that I'm critiquing, but it's more the landscape that it's being placed in, the context that it's being placed in, and it kind of overrides the narrative of what was. So I guess when using these technologies, make sure it's not overriding or it's not rewriting history in a certain way, because you're using the same methods as the destruction. Like it's both overriding narrative in a certain way. Yeah, but it's still a difficult question.

[00:10:54.676] Kent Bye: So yeah, just thinking about the relationship of the stories and the narrative of that piece relative to the origin point and making sure it's somehow in good relationship with it, that you're not somehow trying to create a hierarchy where you're now more popular. I know, I guess it feels like an ethical issue where it's a line that there's never going to be a clear answer for some of these issues. But as we think about being able to digitally scan the entire world and have different aspects of that out there, then I don't know, is there a specific framework or way that you suggest people look at to get some guidance for how to sort of navigate some of these issues?

[00:11:31.744] Astrid Feringa: Not sure how to answer that, to be honest. That's also something I'm trying to reflect on and figure out through this kind of... The work that I made is very much writing also. It's very much like a short essay if you go through it. So, yeah, I guess it's just important to also keep reflecting on these things when they come up and also not stop speculating on the issue once the replica is there. I don't know, it's not the only solution. You could have replicated it and put it in an environment that has no meaning at all, so the art itself gets more meaning. Or like, I don't know, maybe come up with 10 or 20 different ideas or... Yeah, I think it's just important to keep this conversation going and also these kind of speculations without creating one single narrative that then becomes the narrative, in a way.

[00:12:22.538] Kent Bye: Well, you had this piece on a video installation with two screens that were almost like in an arch without the top. And so maybe you could talk about the decision for how you presented this piece and what you said you were like kind of studying these nonlinear narratives. It's a linear narrative in the sense that I'm watching it. but it's kind of happening across two screens. So I'm context switching between those two and you're showing different shots. So maybe you could talk about your decision to tell this story on two screens and what that afforded you.

[00:12:53.700] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so actually I've been to one of the unfailing ceremonies of the arch, the replicated arch in Geneva as part of the UNESCO Safeguarding Heritage Conference. It was, I guess, April. Yeah, past April, if I'm correct. Also, I've been seeing a lot of found footage from other unveiling ceremonies all over the world. And I was super fascinated by the fact that this arch has been reconstructed, but also there have been added certain elements that to me are just really foreign and alienating even further, like the really weird grey carpet. underneath it that becomes soggy when it rains, and this white cloth and the fences around it, and they gained all these elements. And while looking at these unveiling ceremonies and also the performative aspect of it, basically the displaying of power structures through this weird performance, Yeah, I felt like I was kind of looking like another ruin. Like, yeah, some kind of unveiling ceremony in ruins, basically. So that's what I also try to make with this work or with the setup, at least. Yeah, to still give it that monumental feel, but also, yeah, reflect a bit on the weird elements that have been added to it and the performative aspect of it.

[00:14:13.960] Kent Bye: So with this original arch, it's in the middle of the desert along with all this other rubble. And then when they would do the unveiling ceremony, they would have carpet that if it was rain, it was soggy with the white blanket. And here in the installation, you have like a carpet that's there cut out, like water dripping out with also a blanket. So you're able to then take your own experience of your experience of actually seeing this unveiling of the arch and then trying to recreate this through this representation of that representation.

[00:14:41.591] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, very meta. But yeah, yeah, it's also just super fascinated by this extra layer that it got. So it's also a bit me geeking out on that. But yeah, yeah, definitely.

[00:14:54.140] Kent Bye: Well, here at DocLab, they just had a artificial futures, like, little symposium with a number of different creators talking about both artificial intelligence, but also, in your case, this digital representation and the future of these different representations. And they also showed a short film where you're exploring this concept of representation of nature. And so maybe you could describe this other video project that they showed tonight.

[00:15:18.362] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so you're referring to This Is Not The Amazon. It's actually a project I did in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Castel, who wasn't here tonight. And yeah, the project itself, it was another collaboration with Greenpeace. Actually they just launched their campaign to raise awareness for the deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. And we as a program, so it was within my master's program, we as a program were asked to do something with that as visual artists. Yeah, whilst going through the archival material of Greenpeace, but also other sources that showed wilderness within an environmental context, we were actually super fascinated by all these different modes of representation and how somehow we were shown almost glamour shots of nature or distinct, very lush environments that had absolutely no connection with the humans, so they kind of tried to create a sense of empathy for nature by completely detaching it from us, like presenting it as two separate worlds. So we wanted to do something with this and with these different modes of representation and also show the constructiveness of the idea of nature rather than nature itself.

[00:16:32.318] Kent Bye: Yeah, and again, as you have this single tracking shot going around this forest, you're pulling back and showing that people are watching it, they may not detect that it was a computer-generated image and that they're in the midst of a simulation. As you're going through, you're starting to then kind of pull back and then start to loop around in different ways, kind of unpacking different aspects. And so maybe get to talk about the journey and the turns, because it feels like as you reveal different new aspects of this experience, you're trying to also reveal new aspects of this simulation or this representation.

[00:17:04.637] Astrid Feringa: Yeah, so like you said, it's a one-shot journey through this 3D environment which resembles a tropical rainforest. We started out by using a full-screen image of a rainforest, or something that resembles a rainforest, which might appear natural indeed. And then while going through this in one singular movement, you get sucked into different kind of screens that show different kind of representations of nature and somehow you're like sucked further and further into filming space, but at the same time it also creates a distance because the image of nature kind of starts to crumble, like you start to see the cracks. and you start to see how it's constructed and you start to see also if you watch it for the second or third time you start to see the the same models being used over and over again like yeah you really start to see how it's constructed and then it ends in an apartment where you're being drawn to this computer screen which shows the first frame that might have appeared to be the most natural one but then actually that one is also nested inside another screen so we were really hoping to get across this idea of even the most natural thing that you see is made out of a construct or like different kind of ideas or collage of different ideas, what people think nature is or like different desires about what nature should be. Yeah, and in that sense, it's also a loop. So then it starts again.

[00:18:32.100] Kent Bye: Yeah, what I really appreciated about both these pieces is being able to take a step back and start to deconstruct some of these simulations and representations that you have. And with your background in critical media theory, then you're able to then have some framework to be able to increase our literacy and be able to see these different things and to unpack it or to look at the deeper things that are hidden, whether it's the power structures or other relationships that we may not be aware of as we're watching this and maybe have a more context that needs to be given. And so as you pull out and deconstruct it, you're kind of adding more and more context to the illusion that you may be creating. And then it kind of loops around and does this loop as well. But since you did go to this program to start to look at media theory, it seems like with immersive technologies, they're so new in some respect, but there's some ways to be able to draw upon existing critical media theory. And so it feels like the critical theory around all of immersive technologies is still really nascent. So it's still the very beginnings of having a fully developed critical theory, but maybe you could just talk about what theorists that you're drawing from media theory to be able to apply these tools of critique to something like immersive media.

[00:19:43.739] Astrid Feringa: That's a big question. Yeah, I guess I can't come up with one thing right now, but I guess throughout this program and also throughout my own work and research, I'm always really trying to reflect on the power structures that are at play and also the responsibility that comes with new media or whatever kind of media that is. And that it's never neutral in that sense, that it's always being instrumentalized. in some kind of political agenda, or yeah, that might sound really doomish to say, but yeah, I think that's one of the things that I'm trying to explore.

[00:20:24.026] Kent Bye: So for you, what are some of the either biggest open questions that you're trying to answer, or open problems you're trying to solve?

[00:20:33.798] Astrid Feringa: I guess I always like to take very specific case studies and then through that kind of analyze what's going on and how things are being used and how things are being instrumentalized and what exactly the architecture of it all is, like for example with the Palmyra Arch, it really started as a fascination with like, what are they doing with this thing? And then yeah, just diving deeper into the background of it, into what's being said about it, into the visual representation, into the like, Yeah, really trying to map out a case study like this and then draw, yeah, draw certain connections and also trying to make statements about how it actually could function within more of a broader political agenda rather than just being a technical accomplishment or just being something that we can do now with technology. And in that way, also drawing back to what I just said earlier, that technologies like this might not be neutral as much as we like to think they are.

[00:21:33.298] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you think the ultimate potential of all these immersive technologies might be and what they might be able to enable?

[00:21:47.482] Astrid Feringa: I have no idea. No, I guess I'm just curious to see. Honestly, I might be really dumb to say at a conference like this, but I don't think I really... care to think too much about that because whatever I might think is probably already happening or is probably already one step behind. So I think, yeah, for me it has more value to look at these kind of case studies and just be really critical towards these kind of things that we encounter in daily life or in visual culture or in everyday life and then try to reflect on it accordingly.

[00:22:29.390] Kent Bye: Well, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to sit down and unpack and talk about this a little bit more So, thank you.

[00:22:35.953] Astrid Feringa: Thank you very much. Yeah for taking the time also So that was Austrian Federinga.

[00:22:41.295] Kent Bye: She's a filmmaker and artistic researcher who had a piece there called what they destroy we will build again So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that first of all, well, I sat down and I watched this experience and it was really well written essay, a video essay, but I was watching it on these two different screens and I just appreciated how it was a different modality of watching it in this installation context with the gray carpet cut out like water that was dripping out and a white blanket that was there to kind of represent these different unveilings that were happening. And, you know, she's really asking this question of like, okay, whose power is the serving to be able to do these different types of digital reconstructions by going through these archival photos to do a whole photogrammetry 3d model reconstruction, and then to actually chisel out the model. And, you know, there's a certain part of the UNESCO trying to preserve cultural heritage. But at the same time, there's certain aspects of being able to have these powers to take representations of these arches and to reconstruct them and then to put them in front of other aspects of their display of power and wealth. And, you know, specifically where this was in Trafalgar Square in Britain, and to see how, you know, it was kind of within the context of all these other institutions that have a whole storied history of colonialism as well. And, you know, what's a deeper story of the history of how it came to be that this power is even there in the first place. And so it's just fascinating to start to think about that in the future, you know, you're going to be able to have anybody potentially start to do these different types of digital reconstructions? And what are the lines? But how do we even start to navigate this? Is it okay to start to do that in a virtual world? Is that going to start to then become the dominant narrative? And how could you even control even if you started to do that? And if there's existing narratives of history, how do you prevent yourself from having whatever stories out there be the most dominant? I think it's in some ways, it's very difficult to navigate. So what I appreciated from Astrid, though, is that, you know, she went through this whole program of going through graphic design and then this artistic research at the ArtEasy Academy of Art and Design. And then the nonlinear narrative degree, which is really kind of like this critical media theory, trying to deconstruct some of the stuff that are happening with this interactive and participatory media. And that was at the Royal Academy of Art. So it's a relatively new program of looking at some of the different ways of trying to deconstruct some of these things that are happening with digital representations that are out there. She also showed at the Artificial Future Symposium this whole piece that she did, it's called This is Not the Amazon, which she was looking at these archives of Greenpeace and seeing how a lot of the art was showing this glamour shots of nature, but the nature was really disconnected from people being in it, that the most exalted version of nature was with no humans at all. And so, you know, really trying to deconstruct different representations of media that we are looking at. trying to in the course of this essay start to pull out and show these different digital representations of media and start to again have us question what kind of representations we're looking at and Yeah, I think just in generally, we're already saturated in these different media representations. And as we move forward into these virtual realities, then a lot of these different questions are going to start to come up. So I guess part of the dialectic that I see is that we do need to have people that are deconstructing these different power dynamics and structures. But I think we also need to have the ultimate potential of what's going to be constructed So I think that there's a healthy dialectic that can happen between those. And there's this interview that I'd seen with Agnes Callard. She was talking about this whole dialectic of the Socratic method where it's actually very difficult to at the same time pursue the truths while at the same time avoiding all falsehoods. So you can't actually do that completely. You can't always avoid all falsehoods because you have the potential of not taking on the truths and you can't just accept with complete credulity all of the truths because you may be believing the falsehoods. So Agnes Callard is actually arguing that the best way to handle this is to have each person take that perspective and to really try to, the best they can, present the best evidence for why you should believe in things and then the other person who's trying to prevent and be skeptical and break things down and to be really super critical about things. And I think there's a value between the dialectic between the constructive ways of creation, and also the deconstructive ways of trying to be critical, and to try to analyze these larger contexts, and you know, if there's some blind spots there, and I think they actually need to be working together in order to create the best work that's possible. And I think that's Part of what the desire of having a broader critical theory within experiential design is to have something to push against, to have some way to evaluate and to be able to either have direct experiences and to be able to understand them. And this is taking a very systemic approach of looking at the larger power dynamics and the larger ecosystem, the larger context, and just being aware of the stories that are being told and how your story is, is it really in relationship to that? Or is that something that you're kind of going in and appropriating different aspects of the culture and using it to serve your own means? And, you know, this is obviously these ethical questions that don't have any clear answers, but I think Ostrid would go to some of these unveiling ceremonies and something just didn't sit right with her about how weird this was that, like, who has a right to just reconstruct these arches and kind of parade it around, around the world to all these Western countries where, you know, it's a representation of Roman architecture, which again was sort of like very symbolic to the history of colonialism. The fact that this Roman inspired architecture was in, this Syrian area and then it gets destroyed. And that's the thing that the Europeans decide that they want to try to reconstruct and use as a symbol for cultural heritage that needs to be preserved. So I think there's good sides on both of this in terms of like, it's probably really great that the capability to be able to do these different types of cultural heritage does need to be preserved and protected. But I think the larger point that Austra is trying to make is just to try to question some of the different power dynamics and the deeper context under which that this is happening in. And I was glad that she was able to do this video essay on these two different monitors within this whole immersive spatial installation of this and just excited to see how you can start to use different modes and installation and immersive media to be able to start to do these different types of media essays. So I'll put a link into, this is not the Amazon, so you can see some of the video work that she's done, as well as a trailer in the show notes, so you can kind of check it out. But yeah, just glad to hear that there's the development and evolution of some of this deeper critical theory that's happening. And I hope to see a little bit more pieces out there that are starting to critique different aspects of the immersive technology sphere, because I just think it's good to have people who are kind of thinking critically about all of this that's happening. So, that's all that I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoyed the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a list of supported podcasts, and so I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. Thanks for listening.

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