A rare VR artifact dated around 2025 from one of the underground virtual “waiting speakeasies” that popped up when waiting was eliminated for society’s elites.
The Waiting Room is a speculative VR piece about a future without waiting. It is presented to the immersent as an artifact from 2025 when waiting was eliminated for society’s elites, and in response, people began to design underground waiting experiences. Immersents are placed in an absurd waiting room that evokes a doctor’s office where they can interact with the most mundane and repetitive parts of waiting experiences.
This piece is motivated by the fact that as a society we are surrounded by more and stimuli and less frequently “do nothing.” Even waiting, which used to be filled with daydreaming is now filled with scrolling through our smartphones. It imagines a world in which automation and AI have become so extreme that the wealthier social classes no longer have to wait for anything.
This piece is based on research on the psychology of slowing down and boredom, the psychology of waiting in lines, waiting design (formally known as service design) and waiting narratives in art. Neuroscientists have found that when we are “doing nothing” our brain goes into what is called the “default network,” which plays an important part in connecting ideas and experiences in our brain. This piece asks what we stand to lose and what we gain from advances in technology and what the unintended consequences could be.