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Goethe-Institut: Immersive Storytelling – How Emerging Media Create Agency and Social Change

November 18, 2021 1:00 pm 3:00 pm


The network meetings aim to highlight and virtually connect women and gender-marginalized people from Europe and North-America working in the creative industries and around immersive technologies to create new international connections and foster potential cooperation. These Meetups are planned as a series of events with a different focus for each event. This meeting is presented by the Goethe-Institut Boston in collaboration with Women in Immersive Tech Europe.

Featuring artists and filmmakers Rashin Fahandej and Rebecca Merlic in conversation with curator Dr. Leonie Bradbury. The speakers will address how they use virtual reality and immersive storytelling as tools for co-creation, healing and social change.

Introduction by

Dr. Leonie Bradbury is the Henry and Lois Foster Chair of Contemporary Art Theory and Practice and Curator-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston, USA. She directs Emerson’s platform for visual art “Emerson Contemporary” focused on presenting and commissioning new media art, performance art, and emergent technologies within a socio-political context. In 2020, she was a collaborator on the AREA Code Art Fair and curated and organized a drive-in movie theater experience featuring light projections and digital video art. Previously, she served as the Director of Art and Creative Initiatives at HUBweek, an innovation festival showcasing intersections of art, science, and technology.

A respected authority on both the creative and scholarly aspects of contemporary art, Dr. Bradbury has more than 20 years of experience in public programming, developing new work, creating compelling and innovative exhibitions, and promoting artists as thought leaders. Her dissertation Artwork as Network: A Reconceptualization of the Work of Art and its Exhibition questions how contemporary works of art relate to network culture and, alternately, how do networks redefine our understanding of specific works of art. At Emerson College, she teaches a professional practice seminar Curating Contemporary Art as well as a course on The Moving Image in Contemporary Art.

Presentations by

Rashin Fahandej is an award winning artist, independent filmmaker and assistant professor of emerging and interactive media at Emerson College. Her projects center on marginalized voices and the role of media, technology, and public collaboration in generating social change. A proponent of “Art as Ecosystem,” she defines her projects as “Poetic Cyber Movement for Social Justice,” where art mobilizes a plethora of voices by creating connections between public places and virtual spaces. Fahandej is the founder of “A Father’s Lullaby, “ a multi-year community co-creative initiative that highlights the role of men in raising children and their absence due to racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Fahandej is the recipient of the 2021 Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction in Digital Music & Sound Art and 2019 Foster Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. She has served as a Boston Mayor’s Office Artist-In-Residence and lead artist at American Arts Incubator Austria at ZERO1 and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs where she launched the “Future of Inclusion Lab”initiative in partnership with Ars Electronica.

Rebecca Merlic retreats between Tokyo, Munich and Vienna. She graduated with distinction at the Academy of Fine Arts. She specialized on analogue and digital art as well as architecture. Her work is strongly influenced by alternative ways of society and transgression in socioeconomic conventions as well as new forms of artistic and architectural production employing new technologies. During her masters she was able to study at Astushi KITAGAWARA Lab at Tokyo University of the Arts GEIDAI. She is a holder of the Marianne von Willemer Prize 2020 for digital media and the PIXEL,BYTEs & FILM residency supported by the BMKOES, ORF and Arte Creative. Currently her work is on display at bildraum07 on her first solo show TheCityAsAHouse 都市が家になるとき+ GLITCHBODIES WIP hosted by ARS ELECTRONICA.


Participation via VR headset, Windows PC and Mac OSX (beta version) in 2D mode and live stream via Zoom.

Please note:
New users will have to first download the app and then make an account inside the AltspaceVR application. This works on all platforms like PC, Mac OSX, Oculus Quest, etc.


November 18, 2021
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
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