Nina Kremser: VR-Documentaries

From the reproduction and representation of reality to its actualisation?


Given the emergence of more and more Virtual-Reality-Documentaries, many of them even running at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival such as »Waves of Grace« (Chris Milk – Vrse) or »Nomads: Masaai« (Felix&Paul Studios), it appears necessary to think about this new media format and to have a look at how it changes classical categories of filmic documentations and documentaries such as – most important – the reference to (any kind of) reality and thereby aspects of immediacy, indexicality and authenticity. By a description of the specific dispositive of VR the assumption is to be developed that the documental (»Das Dokumentarische«) does not lie anymore only in the »What« and »How« of filmic representation but is complemented or even replaced by the simulation of realistic human perception. Hence the proposed thesis is that VR-documentaries are more about a present documental experience or actualisation than about a reproduction or representation of past events. This thesis shall be tested and proved (or proved wrong and altered) by the analysis of 1-2 concrete examples.