April 21 Keynote

Dr. Ray Hsu

By incorporating affective economies of emergent sensation, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality attach our bodies to regimes of digitization and global capital, feeding a catastrophic human desire to annihilate the sensorium via technological delirium.

Dr. Ray Hsu examines how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have become the mediums par excellence for experiencing the disorienting reality of the present: everything is already VR/AR. The talk will feature work by Janet Chen, who mobilized her research in Vancouver’s Historic Chinatown as “assets” for a VR experience as a final group project for a course on “Representations of Modern Asia” taught by Dr. Hsu. The subsequent app was published (and is downloadable) in Google’s Play Store.

BIO: Dr. Ray Hsu (they/them/their) chairs the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Group and teaches at the Social Justice Institute at UBC. Hsu is author of two books: Anthropy (winner of the Gerald Lampert Award) and Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon (winner of the Alcuin Award). Before coming to UBC, Hsu taught a U.S. prison for over two years.

As a scholar and artist, Hsu’s research and creative work turn to immersive technology (VR/AR) as a mode of education and intersectional feminist activism. They are invested in creating alternative cultural spaces at the intersection of research, art making and community building.