Presence and/or Telepresence (A summary of what I am working on)

Posted in (non)sense, Transmedia Research by tpdr on March 5, 2010

The last few years I have been interested in what Roy Ascott would call our Variable Reality. This reality is composed of physic space (apparitional presence), ecospace (physical presence), nanospace (vibrational presence) and cyberspace (telepresence).[i] As a consequence, our sense of place becomes very complex. Our so-called unified self doesn’t feel so unified as we tought but instead seems distributed or at least transpored from one (part of) reality to another in a very fast way imposing a disorientated feeling upon us.

One of the main questions therefore became: What happens to the self under the influence of this new reality, or as Ascott calls it this variable reality?

I think what I have been doing with my mapping project when graduating from Graphic Design, was trying to create a tool to be able to keep track of myself. However I don’t feel like I understand what is actually happening or where this feeling of being taken somewhere else originates from. During a discussion last year with Frans Evers, I talked with him about the difference between when being in a (video)chat with somebody or calling somebody on a phone. Our conclusion was that when chatting online, you seem to be going over there, as when talking on the phone, you have more the impression that the other person comes to you. Therefore I think it would be usefull, for my future work to try and understand how different media as image and sound affect our feeling of presence and/or telepresence. In the future it might even be appropriate to understand the same sort of effects when talking about smell and touch.

A final question is maybe, how can the boundaries between presence and telepresence be blured (when talking about difference in space/location but also in time, past versus present)? Or how can Variable Reality become just reality again?

[i] Roy Ascott The Ambiguity of Self: living in a variable reality, in New Realities: Being Syncretic, Ascott/Bast/Fiel/Jahrmann/Schnell (eds.), SpringerWien, New York, 2009. P. 22-25.

Some Advice 1.0

Posted in quotes and advices by tpdr on December 10, 2008

At the moment I am taking part in this workshop called Trans Architecture/Environmental Media. During these sessions I took some notes that I think should be put in a list so I won’t forget about them, but they might as well be useful to others. Most of them are quotes from Frans Evers, our senior researcher on this project.

  • Before the 70s artworks could be categorized rather easily. Since the art world has become more complicated it is hard to see in which field you belong so you should just create your own field or even better your own ‘inter-field’.
  • Artists should also ask themselves what the ‘connectedness’ of today’s society does with with our sense of presence or tele-presence.
  • Try to think impossible possibilities. Never mind the present powers of technology, imagine what could be possible or should be possible in the future and simulate it.
  • Don’t forget to read texts written by artists.
  • Seduce instead of trying to manipulate your audience, because everybody manipulates so you don’t need art for that.
  • An experience can be really powerful, especially when people feel they are trigering it themselves.
  • Try to trigger the emotions and memories of your audience so they will create their own adventure.
  • Always pay attention to what the environment provides. Often you can use a lot of things/information/objects/etc. that are already there.

#End of list