Baptizo and Immersion: A Panoramic Perspective
This article investigates the relationship between audiences and the moving image in cinematic and virtual space(s) outside of the museum through Canadian artist Levi Glass’s new media project Cineorama. This wooden panoramic cinema, which the artist built in 2019, immerses viewers in the eight-channel video Baptizo—a 360° experience of the Baptistery in Florence—on double-sided screens inside and outside the building. The article focuses on the outdoor public display of Cineorama at the 2020 Luminocity exhibition in Kamloops, Canada, and Glass’s digital adaptation of the project for viewing on personal devices or virtual reality headsets. Rooted in the historical traditions of the panorama, philosophical toy, and early cinema, the physical and virtual versions of Baptizo/Cineorama offer a valuable case study in reconciling our diverse viewing practices today in light of the vast array of visual media appearing in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.