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“Embodied Narratives: Engaging the Future of Immersive Content,” lecture by Nonny de la Peña

Hamilton College’s Digital Arts Program in collaboration with Cornell University’s Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity is presenting Nonny de la Peña for a virtual talk, “Embodied Narratives: Engaging the Future of Immersive Content,” on Thursday, April 8, at 5 p.m.  In her talk, de la Peña — and sometimes called the godmother of virtual reality — will reflect on her career at the forefront of immersive storytelling. The free virtual presentation will be followed by a question-and- answer period. Those wishing to attend via Zoom must register here: https://bit.ly/3cxDpaI

From journalism to filmmaking to virtual reality experiences, de la Peña has sought to put the audience inside the story. She combines traditional reporting with emerging virtual reality technology, allowing the audience to experience a narrative with their entire body, not just their mind.

From experiencing the vanishing glaciers in Greenland from the cockpit of a virtual helicopter, to being hooded and taken into a holding cell in Gitmo, she uses the power of embodiment to construct experiences that feel real. One of her goals is to create empathy and civic engagement through technology.

De la Peña was named The Wall Street Journal Technology Innovator of the Year and one of CNET’s 20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech, as well as being called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by The Guardian. She was selected by Wired magazine as a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change and Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative” for her work in immersive storytelling. She is a former correspondent for Newsweek.

Under her leadership, Emblematic, the company de la Peña founded, has built a critically acclaimed body of work using a range of technologies from 360 video, to VR (virtual reality), AR (artificial reality), and XR (immersive reality) technologies, and AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning. Emblematic’s diverse roster of world-class clients includes Cartier, Google, Lenovo, and the World Economic Forum.


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