Wednesday, 23 December 2009

(MUVE) Avatar - A New Companion Species? A Study of Privileging Human Companionship mediated through Spatial Reflexivity

Many thanks to all my camp-followers who have kept in touch through this Masters study. This last three years of work has been fascinating and engaging for me. I trust that certain aspects may have been interesting for you too. Clearly, there is much more to be done in many of the areas covered tentatively by my research-practice. At present, I am preparing application for a PhD proposal in new media and performance. I have found the generation and maintenance of my concepts and research incredibly useful in the form of an online blog, so (if my application is successful) I will be creating another one for my PhD research-practice. Please stay in touch and I will provide the address for the new blog in the New Year 2010.

Below are preliminary thoughts on concepts and content for my further research. The title is above:

This research will attempt to investigate and extend definitions of the notion of Companionship:
1) Companionship existing as a habitable place comprised of a number of properties; physical, spatial, anticipatory, psycho-emotional, telepresent, liminal. Companionship is a space, one among others, contained within the description of humans as 'mobile volumes' susceptible to, informed and mediated by both 'real' and virtual properties which impinge upon us as we inhabit our respective world locations. (Roger Caillois and Mimesis; Grosz, E. (1999). Space, Time and Bodies in Wolmark).

2) How can Avatars define spaces of opportunity in the field of human engagement?
Enquiry will be conducted into why and how for some, MUVE Avatars may enjoy the privileged status of 'Human Companion' afforded to pets such as dogs and cats; apes (particularly the Bonobo ape), cetaceans, (Dr Donna Haraway - A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the late Twentieth Century in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature and her more recent publication, When Species Meet) family, friends, imaginary friends, partners.

Key Questions:
Might Avatars be a New Companion Species? Why? How might this be defined? How might this be validated/quantified?

Why are MUVE Avatars currently relevant?