The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Seminar #60: Border Crossings – From the real to the half real (and back again)

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on February 15, 2010

This week we will have a special Life and Mind seminar by Greg Garvey, who has recently arrived in our department as a visiting artist and will stay with us for about a month.

Greg is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Interactive Digital Design at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. He will be presenting on:

Border Crossings: From the real to the half real (and back again)

Prof Greg Garvey

Where: Arun-401
When: Wed. 17, 4:30-6:00pm

“Classical” border/boundaries theories examine conflicts that arise between the domains of work, family and so-called third places such as clubs, sports and other social activities outside home or work life. Yet border/boundaries theories have little to say about the competing demands between the real and the virtual or what Juul (2005) calls the “half-real” worlds of video games. A digital (or otherwise) artist may also encounter similar tensions between domains or even make such conflicts the very subject matter of a piece.

In this presentation I will discuss select examples of my work that touch upon related issues and have led me to argue with respect to border/boundary theories for consideration of a fourth place, namely the virtual (Garvey 2007). In particular I will discuss the impact of the “unrealness” of the experience of being “in” the virtual world of Second Life.

I will further suggest that this experience of being “in world” invites a comparison with the diagnostic criteria for dissociation disorders such as depersonalization, derealization and dissociative identity disorder as described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-TR published by the American Psychiatric Association (2000).

For more info:

Garvey, G., (2009), “New Realities: Choices in Virtual Worlds Using Boundary/Border Theories”, Consciousness Reframed: New Realities–Being Syncretic, The Planetary Collegium’s IXth International Research Conference, Proceedings, Springer, New York, Ascott, Roy; Bast, Gerald; Fiel, Wolfgang (eds.) (link)

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