My research on Expanded Reality examines media art and media aesthetic phenomena in perspective of philosophies, neurological theory, and psychologies of (digitally) expanded reality.
I explore the notion of ‘real’ in experiences with art and urban media aesthetics, when a sense of reality is artificially expanded (or, I argue, reduced) – for example in experiences of immersion characterizing an ontological, media aesthetic condition of engaging with and within technologically advanced aesthetic environments (known as, for example, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences). This involves the sinking into an experienced environment as an artificial condition for presence. It pertains to the feeling of being present in a simulated image or ‘world’ in a condition in which sensations of mediation are introduced directly to the human nervous system, which is manipulated to accept the mediation as authentic in the present environment. Immersive environments affect how the world is ‘felt’, configuring perceptual experiences in everyday life. They evolve from aesthetic imperatives of technological interfaces, social systems, networked information structures as well as cultural and artistic spaces – and increasingly merge with social, political, economic and cultural systems.
My research examines how manifestations of Expanded Reality in immersive ‘images’ (virtual, augmented, mixed reality, and beyond) are integrated with everyday life and societal functions as intelligent, presence-perceptual configurations. ‘Expanded reality’ is not merely something we encounter in gaming, design, art and other virtual architectures but has become the fabric of social media environments, news consumption, travel experiences and translocal meetings as well. In tandem with developments in optical technology, emerging modes of media aesthetic visual expression in urban environments are becoming increasingly immersive, too, and increasingly designed to synchronize with an emotional dimension of presence. When media aesthetic immersive experiences mirror us and we experience a strong sense of immersion, we are more likely to accept the angling, framing, emotions, or knowledge imperatives presented to us, which however tends to align with underpinning logics set out by corporations, political visions or economic incentives. Consequentially, it becomes difficult for us to withdraw from immersion and question the design imperatives that mirror us, reflect our patterns, imitate our behavior, depict how we feel, facilitate our communication, and respond to our emotions and sympathies.
With this I develop a foundation for addressing how temporality in experience affects memory structures, habits, and intuitions, not only theoretically but also technogenetically (Leroi-Gourhan 1943, Stiegler 1994, 2008, 2010, Hayles 2015) – implicating both cultural, philosophical, historical (or, originary), technical, computational, affective, biological, and neurological perspectives – through memory as a dynamic and temporally wired faculty (Bergson 2011 ). My work especially qualifies subjectivity in terms of consciousness of the subject as a transdisciplinary configuration between neuroscientific theory, computer science, optical innovation, feminist science studies, and Chinese philosophy of time.
Hosted by the Neuro Design Lab, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
During 2018-2020, with a research grant awarded by the Carlsberg Foundation, I took up a research fellowship on the topic of ‘expanded reality’ at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, supervised by artist and Professor Maurice Benayoun.
ACTIVITIES PERTAINING TO THIS RESEARCH
CONFERENCE PAPER AND PRESENTATION: After The Tunnel: on shifting ontology and ethology of the emerging art-subject, co-authored and co-presented with Maurice Benayoun, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2020 Montreal), October 2020, online.
CONFERENCE PAPER AND PRESENTATION: Art and the Broken Mirror: A technogenetic perspective on digitally expanded realities, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2020 Montreal), October 2020, online.
KEYNOTE: Phenomenal Feminisms, FAEN – Female Artistic Experiments Norway in Oslo, October 2019.
KEYNOTE: Curatorial Inquiry in Times of Cognitive Crisis, presented at the Ph.D. Summer Camp – Artistic Production and Curating in The Age of Technogenesis, hosted by CATCH in Elsinore and within the framework of Media Art Histories Re:Sound 2019, August 2019.
PH.D. DISSERTATION: Images Of Urgency: A Curatorial Inquiry With Contemporary Urban Media Art, 2017, Institute of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen.