Experimental media archaeology is a hands-on approach implemented at the Film Archive & Media Archaeology Lab, embedded at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Inspired by Huhtamo’s concept of ‘thinkering’, the aim of this approach is to let students experiment with the different possibilities and the diverse usages of (old and new) technological objects of recording and projection, and other forms of (pre-cinematic) representation. Experimental media archaeology is thus used as a practice to let students develop a more critical stance on media heritage, media transition, and media curating. Several years ago, we started experimenting with 3D modelling and Virtual Reality (VR) as complementary strategies to our educational program. As Pantelidis (2009) concludes, VR can add a playfulness to the learning process, encouraging active participation by students, while other studies demonstrate that simulated environments can increase student motivation and stimulate learning. To discover the potential of VR as a tool for thinkering, we recently started an initiative to create an interactive 3D learning environment, designed by a team of Film Study teachers and educational and VR experts of the University. Centered around a 3D model of the Lumière Cinématographe, the application will be realized on a zSpace, a hardware solution that offers a 3D interactive, spatial simulation in which viewers wearing 3D glasses can interact in various ways with simulated objects. This article explores some of the didactic potentials and flaws of Virtual Reality in the classroom setting.
- Experimental media archaeology
- virtual reality