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Virtual Reality in Perspective, Noorderzon Festival

Date:01 February 2021
Author:Sake Jager
André Rosendaal at Noorderzon
André Rosendaal at Noorderzon

On August 28, 2018, ICTOL staff member André Rosendaal presented a lecture at the Noorderzon festival on Virtual Reality, together with Annie van den Oever, professor Film and Visual Media (department for Arts, Culture, Media Studies) and Stefano Blezer, student of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. After sketching a few historical highlights that led to the current boom of VR tools and applications, André presented a large number of examples, categorized in different areas reated to the University of Groningen: Research, Education, Health Care, Society and Arts and Culture. The examples included data visualization in 3D for Astronomy and Moleculair Dynamics, treatment of  phobia and PTSD in the CAVE, a virtual tomb in Crustumerium, Museums of the Future and much more. After a live demonstration of Mercator City (see below) by Stefano Blezer, Annie van den Oever reflected on the impact of new media technology such as Virtual Reality on people and culture. She quoted José van Dijck, formed president of the KNAW, underlining the potential of Virtual Reality as a new tool for thinking: "retooling the imagination".

The lecture was preceded by a  well-attended exposition with several VR exhibits:

  • Bonify (Archaeology), an augmented reality tool for comparing bones found at excavations with zooarchaeological reference materials;
  • Historical projectors and viewers, such as a Magic Lantern, Stereoscope and View-master from the Film Archive and Media Archeaology Lab of the University of Groningen;
  • VeLight, an application for learning about the human skeleton, developed for the zSpace by the Reality Center of the UG in cooperation with the Faculty of Medical Sciences;
  • Mercator City, a VR environment that enables students to rebuild the Zernike Campus (Reality Center UG and Faculty of Spatial Sciences);
  • The "Orkest Ontdekker", developed by Groningen artist Chantalla Pleiter, in which one can play virtual instruments and find out how it is to play music in an orchestra.

The event was organized by the Faculty of Arts in cooperation with the UG Interfaculty VR/AR hub. 


About the author

Sake Jager
Sake Jager

Universitair Docent Toegepaste Taalwetenschappen

Link: /staff/s.jager