The Immersive space: enticing universes for visitors to navigate

Ganzfelds – ©2018 James Turrell

So what is exactly an immersive space?

“A type of experience in which the subjective awareness appears to merge with the artwork, so as to create a sensation of a new, more powerful, experience of totality”.

The complexity of the definition may be related to one of the characteristics itself. Immersive space is given by an environment which is changing. For this kind of interdisciplinary experience made of images, sounds and devices, there is only one rule, using media to create a metamorphosing space.


“familiar surfaces in the space disappear, reappear again in a changed form, oscillating between the layers of the two and three dimensional.”(Talschick, 2015)

Immersion is undoubtedly essential to understanding new media art. Other than just an experience for the senses:

“It can be an intellectually stimulating process. it is characterized by diminishing critical distance to what is shown and increasing emotional involvement in what is happening”. (Gestalten,2015)

The debate on which element creates effective spaces is protracted in time, what can be standard soil for all is that:

 “simpler and straightforward the interaction is, the better is the experience. However, this conclusion is only valid if the entire experience is sufficiently immersive and stimulating to all senses”. (Tamschick,2015)

As a personal opinion, I relate to Immersion as a matter of space for sensory stimulation and more important the layer capable to create a place for emotions.

Once limited to the canvas, artists can now exceed the confines of any space.

“The rise of the immersive experience correspond to the appearance of full-scale installations that behave as interactive […] enticing universes for visitors to navigate.”(Gestalten,2015)


Immersion is a sentient embracing experience of fusing the spectator with the medium.

see Fragments: 

Fragments is an interactive artwork in which walking in the space triggers memories, more you walk into your mind more you can recall. Once a person enters in a completely dark room, pieces of the past start to appear one by one according to his movement. All images are projected on the layers of transparent curtains, hanging in the space creating depth for the memories image collage.

Doug Wheeler: PSAD Synthetic Desert III- All images courtesy of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation / photos by David Heald
Claudia Livia