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Loughran, G., & O’Connor, J. (2022). Re-Worlding the Virtual: Exploring Art and Archipelagic Education through Virtual Environments. [Review of Re-Worlding the Virtual: Exploring Art and Archipelagic Education through Virtual Environments.]. In N. Fitzpatrick & C. McGarrigle (Eds.), Techné logos and the (Neg) anthropocene: the first annual conference of the European Culture and Technology Laboratory (pp. 121–143). EUt+ Academic Press.


This paper expands on the use of virtual environments to address educational questions around social isolation, embodiment and knowledge production. Supported by curricular experimentations with archipelagic thinking, it reflects on the potential for virtual environments to provide novel educational contexts for students to explore the relationship between art and environment at a time of climate transition. Archipelagic thinking is a theoretical framework that emerged out of Island studies and postcolonial discourse in the late 20th century. Emphasising relational flow between islanders, islands, entities and worlds, archipelagic thinking seeks to address the epistemological distinctions between centre and periphery, between the northern and southern hemispheres, what Boaventura De Sousa Santos has called ‘the abyssal line’(De Sousa Santos, 2018). Within this context, post-abyssal pedagogies are pedagogies that challenge the epistemic injustices between official and unofficial knowledge, mapped out through geographic location. These theoretical frameworks became the methodological ground upon which a virtual pedagogical experiment was developed in the MA Art and Environment, in west cork. Aiming to create a more embodied educational experience within virtual reality, archipelagic spaces were constructed to support exchanges with local voices and local knowledge. Re-worlding the virtual through these processes, the Virtual Archipelago was further expanded into a European-wide conference on the ethics and politics of virtual reality education in arts institutions. Reflecting on the values and principles that have emerged through these discussions this paper points towards some possible research directions.



Part Funded by TU Dublin

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.