4 Dreaming :
the digital double as strategy of analysis
of the body’s presence/absence in
contemporary interactive ambient
Doctor Mirella Misi
Independent artist and researcher. Founder of Slash Art Tech
Lab, Amsterdam. Partner of Electric Cyber...
Abstract
• Adopting as first reference the concept of 'digital
double' (DIXON, Steve. 2007), this article is a
strategy of...
Professor Steve Dixon
President of the LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore)
World-renowned academic, researcher and int...
4 Dreaming
An Interactive video installation
by Slash Art Tech Lab Amsterdam
Introduction
The double is an archaic notion that has always
been present, throughout the history of
mankind, in magic rit...
Witchcraft and Voodoo
Replica voodoo doll. (KLAUS AARSLEFF/FORTEAN PICTURE LIBRARY)
Witchcraft puppet. (FORTEAN PICTURE LI...
Mummification and Embalsement
Egyptian mummy, PTOLOMEIC ERA, III - II A.C.
(Louvre, Paris). In: <http://nl.wikipedia.org/w...
Ghost
In: <http://ghostradio.wordpress.com/tag/ghost-hunters/>
http://wdfyfe.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/8-simple-rules-for-g...
The Digital Double
Dixon states that the 'digital double' "refers to
old notions of magic not only by virtue of the
'conju...
The Digital Double
In the various possibilities of digital
technology, the double creates the possibility of
"incarnation"...
• Artists working with digital technology have
explored a range of different possibilities for
space-time relations and tr...
Contemporary technologies offer updates to our
past and ancestors mythical and magical rituals
The representation of the b...
Some approaches to the concept of double in
theatre, psychology and philosophy.
• Artaud’s [3] spiritual and transcendenta...
“The double of theatre is its true and magical self, stirring other
dark and potent shadows which rail against a fossilize...
The concept of Uncanny (Freud)
First published in Imago, Bd. V., 1919; reprinted in Sammlung, Fünfte
Folge. [Translated by...
The Uncanny (German, das Unheimliche—
literally, "un-home-ly", but
idiomatically, "scary", "creepy")
is a Freudian concept...
the digital double on the video installation slash
cam 2/Slash Lab, 2011
Mirror Stage (Lacan)
[…] The function of the mirror stage thus
turns out , in my view, to be a particular case
of the func...
Dixon’s concept of 'digital double ' on
contemporary multimedia performances:
"the double as digital image replicating its...
Dixon’s four categories
of double digital
• 1) the double as reflection;
• 2) the double as alter-ego;
• 3) the double as ...
The installation 4 Dreaming
• The installation 4Dreaming is part of the project Slash
cam3D, started in November 2011, an ...
The virtual
environment of
4 Dreaming:
the projected image
shows the
audience/participant,
the video
footage, and the
synt...
Dixon’s categories of digital double in
4 Dreaming
Using the categories of Dixon [1], 4 Dreaming
(4D) can be understood as...
The Double as alter-ego
"in performances where the double coexists
with the live performer but is not directly
watched and...
The double as alter-ego
The public act as audience The public acts as performer
The double as reflection
The virtual environment transforms every
moment causing the participant to be constantly
aware of...
The double as reflection
The double as spiritual emanation
Especially because the configuration of the work
is ethereal in its immateriality _ an a...
The double as spiritual emanation
Professor Johannes Birringer
Brunel University
http://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/excellence/performance/daplab
With the new...
Extensions of identity and self:
The possibility to
experience
duplication, multiplication
and transmutation with
our 'dig...
Cybernetics Science of Norbert Wiener
• Information is a term that designates the
content of what we exchange with the out...
Liquid Views: a virtual mirror
of narcissus (1993) by Monika
Fleischmann, Christian A.
Bohn and Wolfgang Strauss
As well a...
Technologies transform our body/ydob
experiences and can be considered as
extensions of our own identity and self. Our
sen...
It is from the body that we began to experience
and is to the body that the experience returns.
In concordance with Rosane...
The installation 4Dreaming: an
immersive and interactive installation,
Birringer considers the immersive environments
as a...
For Birringer, there are four types of ambient
that involve interactive performances:
• the Interactive Environments
• Der...
Conclusion
• To manifold our understanding of the concepts of body, virtuality and
reality, the projected image of the sub...
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4Dreaming: the digital double as strategy of analysis of the body’s presence/absence in contemporary interactive ambient

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Presentation in Somatic Conference, Coventry University, England, 2012.

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4Dreaming: the digital double as strategy of analysis of the body’s presence/absence in contemporary interactive ambient

  1. 1. 4 Dreaming : the digital double as strategy of analysis of the body’s presence/absence in contemporary interactive ambient
  2. 2. Doctor Mirella Misi Independent artist and researcher. Founder of Slash Art Tech Lab, Amsterdam. Partner of Electric Cyberdance Research Group at LaPAC Laboratory, Brazil. Professor Ludmila Pimentel School of Dance at Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, Dean of Electric Cyberdance Research Group at LaPAC Laboratory, Brazil, Postdoctoral studies and Professor Collaborator at xm: Lab, Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar, Germany, with CAPES sponsorship, and Partner of Slash Lab Amsterdam
  3. 3. Abstract • Adopting as first reference the concept of 'digital double' (DIXON, Steve. 2007), this article is a strategy of analysis of the body’s relationship between presence and absence in immersive interactive ambient, having as artistic artefact/example the interactive video installation 4 Dreaming. The installation invites the public to the subjective universe of the art work, configured as a hybrid environment, where the audience can interact with its 'digital double'.
  4. 4. Professor Steve Dixon President of the LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) World-renowned academic, researcher and interdisciplinary artist, with an international reputation for his research in the use of media and computing technologies in the performing arts. Author of the book Digital Performance, 2007
  5. 5. 4 Dreaming An Interactive video installation by Slash Art Tech Lab Amsterdam
  6. 6. Introduction The double is an archaic notion that has always been present, throughout the history of mankind, in magic rituals, religious rituals, mystic practices, mythologies, popular traditions, and in the collective imagination.
  7. 7. Witchcraft and Voodoo Replica voodoo doll. (KLAUS AARSLEFF/FORTEAN PICTURE LIBRARY) Witchcraft puppet. (FORTEAN PICTURE LIBRARY)
  8. 8. Mummification and Embalsement Egyptian mummy, PTOLOMEIC ERA, III - II A.C. (Louvre, Paris). In: <http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummie>
  9. 9. Ghost In: <http://ghostradio.wordpress.com/tag/ghost-hunters/> http://wdfyfe.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/8-simple-rules-for-ghosts/
  10. 10. The Digital Double Dixon states that the 'digital double' "refers to old notions of magic not only by virtue of the 'conjuring' of an alternate and second body for the performing subject, but also in relation to ancient laws of imitative and homeopathic magic" [1] (pp. 244).
  11. 11. The Digital Double In the various possibilities of digital technology, the double creates the possibility of "incarnation" of other identities, the circulation through other realities or, being at the same time in different places, experiencing the inherent spatial ubiquity of our contemporary stage.
  12. 12. • Artists working with digital technology have explored a range of different possibilities for space-time relations and translations of visual and sensory experiences in the interaction between performers, audience/participant and virtual and real spaces. • There is a common approach between them with respect to the physical limits of the human body and the surrounding physical space, a desire to expand human consciousness and perception beyond those boundaries.
  13. 13. Contemporary technologies offer updates to our past and ancestors mythical and magical rituals The representation of the body in these artistic events is made through its ‘digital double’, which reveal a matter made of information that integrates the physical spaces as inscriptions, subjected to constant mutations and reconfigurations.
  14. 14. Some approaches to the concept of double in theatre, psychology and philosophy. • Artaud’s [3] spiritual and transcendental perspective of the double of theatre • Freud [4], the uncanny • Lacan’s concept of 'mirror stage ' [5] , the fictional invention of ego and identity, • Derrida’s [6] notions of the double and of repetition, in which he states a blurring of boundaries between imagination and reality, between symbol and what it symbolizes. • Heidegger [7] to propose the double as a fundamental condition of human existence • Nicholas Royle’s [8] analysis of the uncanny in psychology and in philosophy • Brecht’s notion of alienation-effect • genetic engineering
  15. 15. “The double of theatre is its true and magical self, stirring other dark and potent shadows which rail against a fossilized, shadow less culture” (Antonin Artaud, 1938) In: <http://www.shadowhousepits.com.au/releasing%20artaud.htm>
  16. 16. The concept of Uncanny (Freud) First published in Imago, Bd. V., 1919; reprinted in Sammlung, Fünfte Folge. [Translated by Alix Strachey.] • “an uncanny effect is often and easily produced by effacing the distinction between imagination and reality, such as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions and significance of the thing it symbolizes, and so on. (Freud, 1919, p.14)
  17. 17. The Uncanny (German, das Unheimliche— literally, "un-home-ly", but idiomatically, "scary", "creepy") is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange. Because the uncanny is familiar, yet strange, it often creates cognitive dissonance within the experiencing subject due to the paradoxical nature of being attracted to, yet repulsed by an object at the same time.
  18. 18. the digital double on the video installation slash cam 2/Slash Lab, 2011
  19. 19. Mirror Stage (Lacan) […] The function of the mirror stage thus turns out , in my view, to be a particular case of the function of imagos , which is to establish a relationship between an organism and its reality – or , as they say, between the Innenwelt and the Umwelt.” Lacan, Jackes. The Mirror Stage as Formative of the I Function as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience. Deliyered on July 17, 1949, in Zurich at the Sixteenth International Congress of Psychoanalysis (p. 78)
  20. 20. Dixon’s concept of 'digital double ' on contemporary multimedia performances: "the double as digital image replicating its human referent has been used to produce a range of different forms of imitation and representation which reflect upon the changing nature and understanding of the body and self, spirit, technology, and theatre" [1] (pp. 244).
  21. 21. Dixon’s four categories of double digital • 1) the double as reflection; • 2) the double as alter-ego; • 3) the double as spiritual emanation; and • 4) the double as manipulable mannequin.
  22. 22. The installation 4 Dreaming • The installation 4Dreaming is part of the project Slash cam3D, started in November 2011, an on-going project of SLASH Art and Technology Research Lab, located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. • Slash cam3D, in the classification of Robert Wechsler [9], is an Environment Oriented Interactive Software created especially for multimedia productions, which uses video cameras as sensors to detect data about the position and the movement of the performer in the physical space to intervene in real time on audio and image files. In combination, the software provides three-dimensional virtual graphic (open GL) objects that can be triggered to respond to the movement of the performer as three- dimensional projections.
  23. 23. The virtual environment of 4 Dreaming: the projected image shows the audience/participant, the video footage, and the synthetic graphic objects, all in three dimensions, composi ng a unique environment.
  24. 24. Dixon’s categories of digital double in 4 Dreaming Using the categories of Dixon [1], 4 Dreaming (4D) can be understood as a multimedia performance representing the human referent in the form of the 'digital double' threefold: as reflection, as alter-ego and as spiritual emanation.
  25. 25. The Double as alter-ego "in performances where the double coexists with the live performer but is not directly watched and acknowledged by her, or where the double undertakes asynchronous activity, or presents another ‘side’ or visual embodiment of a character, we move into the domain of the digital double as an alter-ego"[Dixon, 2007].
  26. 26. The double as alter-ego The public act as audience The public acts as performer
  27. 27. The double as reflection The virtual environment transforms every moment causing the participant to be constantly aware of his/her position/situation/reaction. It is in this cybernetic game that we displace our presence/absence and exercise and experience an offset bodily presence, and enable our digital twins to constitute and show themselves revealing us their reflexes and shapes.
  28. 28. The double as reflection
  29. 29. The double as spiritual emanation Especially because the configuration of the work is ethereal in its immateriality _ an artwork that is not a physical object _ the public becomes an immaterial object/subject, having an "out-of- body" experience.
  30. 30. The double as spiritual emanation
  31. 31. Professor Johannes Birringer Brunel University http://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/excellence/performance/daplab With the new interactive digital technologies the concept of real-time flow is transformed, as well as the notion of space, which becomes environment/ambient.
  32. 32. Extensions of identity and self: The possibility to experience duplication, multiplication and transmutation with our 'digital double' causes us to reflect on our contemporary human condition, the changes in our perceptual system and subjectivity, and therefore our reconfiguration through digital technologies.
  33. 33. Cybernetics Science of Norbert Wiener • Information is a term that designates the content of what we exchange with the outside world as we adjust to it. • The process of receiving and using information is the process of our adjustment to the environmental contingencies and our adaptation to this environment, a cybernetic process.
  34. 34. Liquid Views: a virtual mirror of narcissus (1993) by Monika Fleischmann, Christian A. Bohn and Wolfgang Strauss As well as in Liquid Views, in 4 Dreaming the body is duplicated as a digital companion, in its double, kidnapped from the real physical space and subsequently put into a technological ambient, presented incredibly real to the human brain.
  35. 35. Technologies transform our body/ydob experiences and can be considered as extensions of our own identity and self. Our senses today relate with these digital immersive environments which promote new perceptions that are being assimilated by our original biological mechanisms.
  36. 36. It is from the body that we began to experience and is to the body that the experience returns. In concordance with Rosane Stone [13] "even in the era of techno social life domain live is lived through bodies ".
  37. 37. The installation 4Dreaming: an immersive and interactive installation, Birringer considers the immersive environments as a new field of knowledge and also a new space for entertainment. Despite RV environments have been explored since the early 90’s, due to immense computational work and equipment, still nowadays the creation of this type of environment is not converted into a common accessible language.
  38. 38. For Birringer, there are four types of ambient that involve interactive performances: • the Interactive Environments • Derivatives Environments • Network Environments • Immersive Environments and the Merged Environments, where the four previous types can be merged into one environment.
  39. 39. Conclusion • To manifold our understanding of the concepts of body, virtuality and reality, the projected image of the subject reveals at once its presence and absence, a present absence, actualized, visible in its immateriality. • Interested in the discussion of the concept of ‘digital double' we present the double body of the installation 4Dreaming, which delineates the immaterial but presents itself in the reality of the installation. • As the world is ambiguously material and immaterial, visible and invisible, more than we can conceive, this installation delights us with the experience and visualization of our digital contemporary doubles, re- signifying archaic mythical and mystical concepts via technologies of immersive environments. • The double digital existence premises as well the occurrence of a transmutation that is realized and actualized in a state of “betweeness”, and that postulates itself as such because of the very nature of the hybrid space where it dwells/transits. It is in this liminal space where the subject (as a double) meets the strangeness of belonging to an unusual absence given through the self-recognition in another opportunity of shape, in another reality.

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