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Dominanz der Imagination. Die Konstruktion immersiver Räume in der Spätantike

Author(s): Bergmeier, Armin


This article aims at assessing the importance of the human imagination in having an immersive experience. Over the centuries art has sought different ways of creating spaces that generated a very direct involvement of the viewers. The art historian Oliver Grau has analysed a variety of these spaces from antiquity and from the early Renaissance to the end of the 20th century. The production of space in late antiquity and the Middle Ages has been excluded from Grau’s analysis for the sake of visual realism, although this was a time that was very conscious about the creation of spaces that immersed the spectators to a high degree. In the present study, realism is not considered a prerequisite for immersive spaces. Instead, the degree to which spaces stimulate the imagination of the viewers/users of these spaces is taken to be the crucial element for the success of an experience that involves the viewer’s mind and body. Two different spatial dispositions are being considered to this end: the chapel of San Vittore in Ciel d’Oro in Milan and the side apses of the Istrian Basilica Euphrasiana. These late antique spaces decorated with mosaic images were intended to immerse the visitors wholly and to generate an experience that was distinct from the experience outside of these spaces. They generated a vision of the immaterial holy and facilitated spiritual seeing

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Preferred Citation
Bergmeier, Armin: Dominanz der Imagination. Die Konstruktion immersiver Räume in der Spätantike. In: : . Marburg: Schüren 2012, S. 37-48. DOI:
 author = {Bergmeier, Armin},
 title = {Dominanz der Imagination. Die Konstruktion immersiver Räume in der Spätantike},
 year = 2012,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 4,
 address = {Marburg},
 series = {Jahrbuch immersiver Medien},
 pages = {37--48},
 publisher = {Schüren},
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