Contaminated Immersion and Thomas Demand: The Dailies


  • David Eastwood


If, as Oliver Grau has stated, immersion “is characterized by diminishing critical distance to what is shown and increasing emotional involvement in what is happening, ” any artwork might be thought of as potentially im - mersive. Arguably, immersion is a condition contingent upon the viewer responding to the artwork, rather than an inherent quality within the artwork alone. Considered in relation to some art historical contexts, the relationship between immersive experience and interference will be discussed in order to contextualize Thomas Demand’s Kaldor Public Art Project, The Dailies. Demand’s project both relates to and departs from some of the key aspects of what is conventionally thought of as immersive art. It is useful to consider this in order to engage with the implications of immersion in art, and reflect on the possibility of strategic interferences operating within what might be described as contaminated immersion.