Panel: Travels Through Hyper-Liminality: Exploring the space where digital meets the real
This presentation provides a creative-practical perspective on Second Life through a survey of my work as a visual artist, set against a theoretical and philosophical backdrop that combines poststructuralism and semiotics. My practical examples of merged and created Second Lives draw on my mixed-reality installations in the form of encounters between Second Life and First Life. My aim is to provide a visual backdrop and practical examples to this underlying theoretical and philosophical discourse, where the disembodied participant and (re)-embodied avatar in my installations find themselves in an increasingly social and political second life context. Whereas the underlying theoretical framework of this presentation clearly identifies a number of critical and philosophical standpoints ranging from a poststructuralist position that follows the linguistic and semiotic guiding principles of de Saussure to the formation of the ego in relation to the body image in Lacan’s mirror stage, it is the artistic outcomes of my own practiced-based research that identifies and pronounces these theoretical stances within my art installations. Through the development of these artistic works since the early 1990s a philosophical discourse has emerged through experience and practice rather than initiated by theory alone, but one that is now completely entwined where as an artist I feel both the theory and practice are at the forefront of my work.
- Paul Sermon is Professor of Creative Technology and Associate Head for Research and Innovation at the School of Art & Design, University of Salford, UK. He has developed a series of celebrated interactive telematic art installations that have received international acclaim. Through a sus- tained research funding income he has continued to produce, exhibit, and discuss his work extensively at an international level. Paul Sermon graduated with a BA Hon’s Fine Art degree under Professor Roy Ascott at the University of Wales in 1988 and received an MFA degree from the University of Reading, England, in 1991. He was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica ‘Golden Nica’, in the category of interactive art for the hyper media installation ‘Think about the People now’ in Linz, Austria, in 1991. He produced the ISDN videoconference installation ‘Telematic Vision’ as an Artist in Residence at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1993 and received the ‘Sparkey Award’ from the Interactive Media Festival in Los Angeles, for the telepresent video installation ‘Telematic Dreaming’ in 1994. Paul Sermon was a nominee at the World Technology Awards 2005 and holds a number of external appointments that influence research policy. Since 2004 he has been an AHRC Peer Review College member, member of the NWDA funded North West Art & Design Research Group, Chair of Media Arts Net- work Northwest [ma-net], and advises on various international journal and conference editorials. External collaborations include the AHRC funded REACT (Research Engine for Art and Creative Technology).