Immersive Embodiment
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Immersive Embodiment : Theatres of Mislocalized Sensation

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Description

This book offers a wide-ranging examination of acts of 'virtual embodiment' in performance/gaming/applied contexts that abstract an immersant's sense of physical selfhood by instating a virtual body, body-part or computer-generated avatar. Emergent 'immersive' practices in an increasingly expanding and cross-disciplinary field are coinciding with a wealth of new scientific knowledge in body-ownership and self-attribution. A growing understanding of the way a body constructs its sense of selfhood is intersecting with the historically persistent desire to make an onto-relational link between the body that 'knows' an experience and bodies that cannot know without occupying their unique point of view. The author argues that the desire to empathize with another's ineffable bodily experiences is finding new expression in contexts of particular urgency. For example, patients wishing to communicate their complex physical experiences to their extended networks of support in healthcare, or communities placing policymakers 'inside' vulnerable, marginalized or disenfranchised virtual bodies in an attempt to prompt personal change. This book is intended for students, academics and practitioner-researchers studying or working in the related fields of immersive theatre/art-making, arts-science and VR in applied performance practices.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 255 pages
  • 148 x 210 x 17.53mm | 488g
  • Cham, Switzerland
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2019
  • 30 Illustrations, black and white; XVII, 255 p. 30 illus.
  • 3030279707
  • 9783030279707

Back cover copy

This book offers a wide-ranging examination of acts of 'virtual embodiment' in performance/gaming/applied contexts that abstract an immersant's sense of physical selfhood by instating a virtual body, body-part or computer-generated avatar. Emergent 'immersive' practices in an increasingly expanding and cross-disciplinary field are coinciding with a wealth of new scientific knowledge in body-ownership and self-attribution. A growing understanding of the way a body constructs its sense of selfhood is intersecting with the historically persistent desire to make an onto-relational link between the body that 'knows' an experience and bodies that cannot know without occupying their unique point of view. The author argues that the desire to empathize with another's ineffable bodily experiences is finding new expression in contexts of particular urgency. For example, patients wishing to communicate their complex physical experiences to their extended networks of support in healthcare, or communities placing policymakers 'inside' vulnerable, marginalized or disenfranchised virtual bodies in an attempt to prompt personal change. This book is intended for students, academics and practitioner-researchers studying or working in the related fields of immersive theatre/art-making, arts-science and VR in applied performance practices.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Chapter 1: Introduction
Immersion as 'Perceptual Embodiment' The Paradox of 'Presence' in Immersive Theatres Towards Reconciling the Problem of the Spectator's Presence 'Elsewhere' Cognitive Studies, Theatre Scholarship and 'Neuromania' Structure of the Book References Part One Chapter 2: Proto-immersive Discourse & the 'Theatrical Condition' Introduction: Bodily Denial in Art Theory Friedian/Diderotian Anti-theatricality 'Entering' Paintings: Absorptive & Theatrical Immersion Immersed Bodies as 'Laboratories of Doubt': Catherine Richards, Carsten Hoeller, Lundahl & Seitl Intersensory Conflict: Catherine Richards' Installations Staging Perplexity: Carsten Hoeller's Umkehrbrille, The Pinocchio Effect and The Forests Immersant-as-'situated self': Lundahl & Seitl's Symphony of a Missing Room (2009-2014) Conclusion References Chapter 3: The Immersive Promise of Becoming [with] the Other Body Introduction 'Immersive' and 'Immersion': Etymologies and Interdisciplinary Definitions Conceptualizing Immersed Bodies in Performance Immersive Technologies: Genealogies and Ontologies of 'Immersion' in Media Theory Immersion as 'Totalization' 'Prioritizing' or Transcending Bodies?: 'Immersion' in the Virtual Conclusion References Chapter 4: Body-swapping: Self-attribution and Body Transfer Illusions (BTIs) Introduction: If I Were You The Narratological Problem: A Survey of Body-swapping in Fiction & its Correlates in Digital Culture Actual & Virtual Body-swapping: Out-of-body Experiences (OBEs) and Subtle Bodies-as-self Model The Philosophical Problem: Bodies of 'Certainty'? The Expanded Umwelt: Adapting & Referring Human Sensations to Non-human Others 'Knowing' Neuroatypical & Self-effacing Bodies? The Physical Problem: Historic Body Illusions and 'Proprioception' Proprioception, Phantom Limb Pain (PLP) & Selfhood The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI): Intersensory Bias & Proprioceptive Drift Risk: Cyber Therapy, Self-protection & Virtual Proxies Conclusion References Part TwoPart Two: Overview References Chapter 5: 'Empathy Activism' & Bodying Difference in Postdigital Culture: Jane Gauntlett's In My Shoes & BeAnotherLab's The Machine to be Another Introduction: VR Performance VR Auto-phenomenology: Mislocalized Sensation as Applied Perceptual Immersion Jane Gauntlett's In My Shoes: Origins Mentoring and Facilitation - First-person Immersion & Person-centered Planning (PCP) BeAnotherLab: The Machine to Be Another & the Library of Ourselves Conclusion: 'Empathy', the sine qua non of morality? References Chapter 6: Touching with a Virtualized Hand: Analogue's Transports Introduction: Immersion and Tremor Transports: The Experience Transports: Genealogies 'Wizard of Oz' testing User-testing 176Evidence Gathering / Evaluation Conclusion References Chapter 7: The Suffering Avatar: Vicarity & Resistance in Body-tracked Multi-player Gaming Introduction: Hyper-intercorporeality & Immersion in Anvio's City Z (2017-) Virtualized Distress: Immersive Synchrony in Videogames and Beyond System Failure: Uncanny Avatars & Glitches as a Site of Recuperation Conclusion Conclusion: The Theft of the Dragon Sabre: Bodies at Risk in Digital Reality References Index
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About Liam Jarvis

Liam Jarvis is a researcher, theatre maker and Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, UK. Since 2007, he has been co-director of Analogue, whose work has toured the UK and Europe. His research and teaching have focused on immersion, embodiment and contemporary participatory practices in (post)digital culture. He has published numerous book chapters and articles in journals such as Performance Research and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media. He is currently co-convener of the Intermediality in Theatre & Performance Working Group at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and a board member for Theatre-Rites.
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