Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Visual Arts

First Advisor

Lorraine Morales Cox


Virtual Reality, Altered States, Creative Arts, Empathy, Virtual Art, Digital, Interdisciplinary


Virtual reality (VR) is a medium that is cutting-edge and novel, creating fully immersive experiences for diverse audiences. Able to fabricate endless opportunities of hyper-realistic scenes, virtual reality provides a specific kind of space for self-reflection and empathy that no other medium can match. VR can take the viewer to the night of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, or next to families trying to survive the genocide in the Nuba mountains of Sudan, or even alongside a NASA scientists atop a sheet of ice in Greenland measuring the rising sea levels. This thesis explores the discourse and critical commentary surrounding various artists and investigative journalists working with virtual reality. The works grapple with our notion of the human condition from life and death, to violence and suffering; whether critiquing international and political conflicts, human rights, gender and sexuality, or humanity’s impact on the environment. The considered artists and groups engage the participant to see and question their own relationship to these issues surrounding the self, the other, and a range of challenges facing the world today. Virtual reality is as much immersive as it is interactive, allowing for your consciousness to not just interpret the medium, but to be the medium.