Empathy and the future of experience


Nothing is more important in today's troubled world than the process of eliminating prejudice and misunderstanding, and replacing them with communication and empathy. We explore the possibility of creating public experiences to dramatically increase individual and community awareness of the power of empathy on an unprecedented scale. We draw on numerous precedents from the Opera of the Future group that have proposed concepts and technologies to inspire and intensify human connectedness (such as Sleep No More, Death and the Powers, Vocal Vibrations, City Symphonies, and Hyperinstruments) and from worldwide instances of transformative shared human experience (such as the Overview Effect, Human Libraries, Immersive Theatre, and non-sectarian spiritual traditions). The objective is to create a model of a multisensory, participatory, spatially radical installation that will break down barriers between people of immensely different backgrounds, providing instantaneous understanding of–as well as long-term commitment to–empathic communication.