[ISEA2023] Artist Talk: Josh Harle — A Collaborative, Experimental VR Artists’ Studio Program

Artist Statement

Theme: Immersion(s) Subtheme: Symbiotic Organizations

Keywords: Collaboration, Experimentation, skills development, Virtual Reality, emerging technology, visual artists, education, practice-based research, antidisciplinary, STEAM

Using examples from a long-running VR-focussed artists’ studio program, Harle will illustrate how non-digital artists inform a critical understanding of technology, as experts in representational politics and history, while benefiting from the allowances of new technologies.

In this talk, digital media artist, educator, and researcher Dr Josh Harle will introduce the experimental virtual reality artists’ studio program he has been hosting since 2017. Harle will give a brief overview of the model, its significant outcomes, and illustrate through examples the value of the studio to a broad set of stakeholders. These examples will show how, as a symbiotic relationship, non-digital artists can inform a critical understanding of technology as experts in representational politics and history, while benefiting from the allowances of new technologies for their practice.

They will also show how the artists’ studies have engaged general audiences in both innovation in art, emerging technology, and the potential implications of these technologies, through
livestream artist talks, and have been used as showcases for both ‘demystifying VR’ and inspiring the expressive use of technology, through creative technology workshops delivered to 4 different age/skill groups. Harle will finish by pointing to the recent expansion of the project into game platforms as an interactive experience.

  • Dr Josh Harle is a neurodivergent researcher, educator, and media artist. He investigates diverse forms of sense-making, technology as cultural practice, and the expressive potential of digital technologies through hacking and repurposing. He hosts a VR artists’ studio program at Tactical Space Lab, Sydney, Australia.