Virtual reality is soooo last decade (aught-ish)! Now, in 2010, in the new decade we see virtual and physical experiences merge for the next phase of time-and-space bending expressions: Immersive Reality.
And the Ralph Lauren 4D shows are an early indicator of where it’s all headed. This video offers a taste, but for a more complete representation, you’ve got to go to the site: http://4d.ralphlauren.com/
The videos document major shows held last week ‘on’ Ralph Lauren’s flagship stores in NYC and London. They featured 3D holographic projections that bring the building to life, laser light shows, and a 4th dimension: scent. It’s a mash-up of ad, art installation, and fashion show.
Recently, I took a hiatus from the Push Institute in order to head to for the Oregon hills, where I spent the last 8 weeks working for an outdoor adventure company. I lose track of time in the backcountry – playing around on the peaks and river paths, catching soft sunrises, and soaking it all in Henry David Thoreau-style. Yet one of my favorite experiences outdoors has nothing to do with its virgin scenery or wildlife. After so much time becoming one with nature, one of the most startling reentry experiences has always been when I see myself in the mirror for the first time. Returning to my life in the city, I must acclimate to the fact that other people are looking back too. Self-consciousness returns (as in conscious of self), and I start to feel obligated to dress nicer, speak softer, and well -to be frank- stop belching whenever I please. I was still struggling with this readjustment frame when I sat down with Cynthia Casas, the Strategy and Partnerships Advisor of the Portland, Oregon-based global women’s magazine, World Pulse.
World Pulse was founded in 2003 by Jensine Larsen, a young journalist covering indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia, with a commitment to address international women’s issues. “We deliver a message of empowerment,” Casas explains. “We have no political agenda, nor are we are a humanitarian agency…We are simply a venue for the voices of women across the world to be heard.”
Though many national feminist magazines exist such as Ms. Magazine and B*tch (another popular Portland export), World Pulse seeks to fill the international niche. Their Voices of the Future initiative operates similar to Global Voices or WITNESS, two sites that use videos, blog, and other technology to expose issues and sectors of society that might otherwise be left silent, but World Pulse caters specifically to women. Not only do they provide a platform to be heard – they provide the training as well. In partnership with the Empowerment Institute, the Press Institute, and the Op-Ed Project, World Pulse has initiated the help of approximately 30 life coaches/editorial advisors across the world to serve as mentors to 31 international, grassroots correspondents from over 21 nations. Because World Pulse primarily seeks first-person narratives for their stories, the women who are willing to speak may not always have a journalism background. Fortunately, they will have coaches available to guide them towards success and improvement within their writing careers and their lives.
In addition to their bi-annual print magazine and regular online content, World Pulse has developed PulseWire, a social networking tool that can be used for women’s global empowerment. It is a space where you can tell your story, post an offering or need, collaborate in groups, and ideally – build a movement. “We have a lot of new platforms in the works, but we’re saving our big media launch until 2010,” Casas says. “We’re hoping to introduce a membership model for our magazine to help with our funding. We would also like to organize an international delegation where our women writers and other influential figures in women’s issues can come together to workshop and strengthen their solidarity.”
As I flip through the Winter/Spring 09 edition of World Pulse, I am greeted by faces and voices incredibly different from my own, yet also so profoundly similar. My encounter with World Pulse was a wonderful way to come back into and reconnect with this world.
The Summer/Fall 2009 print edition of World Pulse will be hitting newsstands soon. Look for it at Barnes and Noble and independent bookstores across the nation.