Joel Zika

Digital artist and research expert in immersive media  


Joel Zika

Lecturer in Screen and Design / Research Fellow

Research and Experience
Joel is a lecturer working with 3D animation and projection art in Deakin’s Screen and Design research group.  His research explores the history of immersive media and those discoveries inform innovative virtual and public digital arts projects.

Over the past decade Joel has been recognised as a global expert in the attractions industry, particularly in the multi-billion-dollar horror and haunted attraction space. Zika has studied and documented over 100 years of haunted houses, ghost trains and other dark rides, using their legacy of technological innovation and visceral interaction to guide engaging and accessible creative projects today.  

Joel has worked with festivals such as Dark Mofo in Hobart ( and spoken at conferences around the world including Austin’s SXSW (, his work is featured in the books ‘Darkness and Light in Australia Art’ and ‘Digital Light’ from fibreculture books.  In 2020 he has been commissioned as a mentor for the Australian Centre for Projection art, an artist for the Nillumbik Shire and as a Test Sites Online artist with the City of Melbourne. The National gallery of South Australian has just acquired Joel’s work as part of Life in the Time of Covid, a 2020 exhibition for GAG Projects Berlin featuring Patricia Piccinini and AES+F.


Immersive Media, Digital Art, 3D animation, Design, Media Art, Virtual Reality, Media Archaeology