UNCAGED: a novel, ‘telesymbiotic’ approach to bridge the divide between the physical world and the virtual world of computers?

PhD thesis


Nuhn, R. 2006. UNCAGED: a novel, ‘telesymbiotic’ approach to bridge the divide between the physical world and the virtual world of computers? PhD thesis Middlesex University Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts
TypePhD thesis
TitleUNCAGED: a novel, ‘telesymbiotic’ approach to bridge the divide between the physical world and the virtual world of computers?
AuthorsNuhn, R.
Abstract

The main subject of this thesis is my artistic project UNCAGED, which explores interrelationships and transitions between computer-based virtual environments and their immediate physical surroundings. The underlying motivation behind my approach was to ‘uncage’ screen-based realities from the confines of their digital existence and to bring the remote computer world closer to our human experience. In particular, my work was opposed to the notion of immersive ‘virtual reality’ where the physical world is more or less excluded from the participants, but instead attempted to situate the virtual domain within the physical world.
Initially, I will discuss the theoretical framework behind UNCAGED, ranging from
aesthetic considerations, the particular role of sound, human computer interaction (HCI)
to technical issues, and afterwards describe the creation process of UNCAGED. Based on
a study of audience behaviour with UNCAGED at a major London museum, I will claim
that the work’s popularity seems to relate to its perceptually intriguing fusion between the
virtual domain and the physical world, and in this respect my project can be deemed
successful. Furthermore, on the basis of an extended review and analysis of related work
in the broad area of ‘mixed reality’, I will suggest that my own approachcan indeed be viewed as a novel way to bridge the divide between the physical world and the virtual world of computers. The innovation relates, in particular, to its unique balance of formal simplicity and technical sophistication. In the last chapter, I will provide a more critical evaluation of UNCAGED, largely informed by Jean Baudrillard’s conception of the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’, which raises questions about the very idea of integrating digital technology in our lives in a meaningful and satisfying way. Finally, I will present my subsequent practical work, which strongly engages with my critical reflections on UNCAGED. In particular, it is informed by a new heightened sensitivity regarding the role of digital technology in my artistic practice.

Department nameLansdown Centre for Electronic Arts
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print16 Apr 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Apr 2010
CompletedNov 2006
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
LanguageEnglish
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