[ISEA2011] Panel: Denise Doyle – Art and the Lim­i­nal: Imag­i­na­tion, Lim­i­nal­ity and Avatar-Me­di­ated Pres­ence

Panel Statement

Panel: Travels Through Hyper-Liminality: Exploring the space where digital meets the real

The ease in which we ex­pe­ri­ence the lim­i­nal through tech­nol­ogy me­di­ated vir­tual space is even more pro­nounced when the space is avatar-me­di­ated cre­at­ing an os­cil­lat­ing state of ex­is­tence be­tween the vir­tual and the phys­i­cal. Yet both con­scious­ness and the imag­i­na­tion de­pend on this lim­i­nal­ity of space. With a focus on the ‘thresh­old’ this con­tin­ual ‘about to be­come’ is al­most a nec­es­sary con­di­tion of being. Some vir­tual en­vi­ron­ments (or worlds) de­lib­er­ately play with this ‘ex­is­ten­tial over­lay to the phys­i­cal’ (Lichty 2009: 2). Work­ing with a new frame­work of the emer­gent imag­i­na­tion con­sid­er­a­tion is given to the tran­si­tional spaces cre­ated in art­works in vir­tual world spaces where as­pects of the lim­i­nal come to the fore. This paper con­sid­ers to what ex­tent we can ex­am­ine imag­i­na­tive or lim­i­nal states that are, as Ed­ward Casey notes, ‘re­mark­ably easy to enter into’, yet their ‘very ephemer­al­ity ren­ders [them] re­sis­tant to con­cep­tual spec­i­fi­ca­tion of a pre­cise sort’ (Casey 2000: 6- 7). The paper con­sid­ers to what ex­tent tran­si­tional spaces share sim­i­lar char­ac­ter­is­tics to the lim­i­nal. Does the lim­i­nal al­ways find the point of the thresh­old? Does avatar-me­di­a­tion (re)space the imag­i­na­tion to a place ge­o­graph­i­cally dis­tant from the body? Do we ex­pe­ri­ence lim­i­nal­ity in a sim­i­lar way? Or is the lim­i­nal more closely bound to the tem­po­ral? To what ex­tent are both con­di­tioned by the vir­tual? The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the tran­si­tional and lim­i­nal, and the avatar ex­pe­ri­ence, sets out a par­tic­u­lar view of the imag­i­na­tion and its elu­sive, and some­times lim­i­nal, qual­i­ties.

  • Denise Doyle, University of Wolverhampton, UK, re­cently com­pleted her re­search at SMART­lab Dig­i­tal Media In­sti­tute, Uni­ver­sity of East Lon­don (UK) (under the di­rec­tor­ship of Pro­fes­sor Liz­beth Good­man) where she un­der­took a prac­tice-based PhD in­ves­ti­gat­ing the Artist’s ex­pe­ri­ence of the Imag­i­nary and Imag­i­na­tion in Vir­tual Worlds. She has de­vel­oped a new frame­work for the Imag­i­na­tion that in­cor­po­rates ex­pe­ri­ences of me­di­ated spaces cre­ated through in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary re­search in Art and Tech­nol­ogy. Denise re­cently guest co-edited a Spe­cial Issue on the Imag­i­na­tion and Vir­tual Worlds for the Jour­nal of Gam­ing and Vir­tual Worlds, where she also sits as an ed­i­to­r­ial board mem­ber. She re­cently joined the ed­i­to­r­ial board for the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Per­for­mance Art and Dig­i­tal Media. A re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tive artist res­i­dency in West Ben­gal, India, has de­vel­oped new av­enues for her re­search on the vir­tual, the imag­i­nary and place. Her re­search in­ter­ests in­clude: vir­tual worlds, in­ter­ac­tive film, philoso­phies of the imag­i­na­tion, prac­tice-based re­search meth­ods, and dig­i­tal nar­ra­tives.  wlv.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/denise-doyle