Room B312 Portland Square,
University of Plymouth,
Post-digital scribing: valuing the point of intersection
The point of departure for my MPhil/PhD, which began in October 2016, is a participatory arts mapping project called Re-imagine Your Town (RIYT). This project drew on my experience of directing and producing animated documentary, teaching in both HE and community arts environments and direct action in opposition to certain developers in urban environments. My research is funded by the AHRC through the 3d3 centre for doctoral training. I am based between the Transtechnology Research Group in Plymouth University and InterAnima CIC community media studio in Penryn Cornwall.
Re-imagine Your Town began with the utopian aim of creating an alternative method for residents, including myself, to participate in local urban planning. The pilot invited residents, through diverse participatory arts interventions, to populate a 3D virtual landscape of their town with their individual perceptions of the past present and future of a town. The aim is that over time the landscape will become an audio-visual meshwork of interacting perspectives. An archive of residents heritage and their ideas for the future their town.
The Interdisciplinary nature of Transtechnology Research Group, with it’s a culture of rigorous critique, has shifted my focus from participation in local planning to the value of intersecting perspectives, the nature of perception itself and the affect of the “digital virtual” in the analysis of the real. Underlying the research is the ethical implications of the technologies used in RIYT; all be it unintentionally, I am uncomfortable with developing a reliance on unseen hegemonic networks and potentially supporting ideologies I oppose.
Underpinning these questions are two very different philosophies relating to the nature of perception and its affect. The first is Guy Debord’s critique of occidental culture as an illusionary spectacle of images that we consume, feed and are subjugated by. The second is Henri Bergson understanding of the relationship between matter and memory which I propose gives us agency to react independently to the habitual impulse of the spectacle. My research continues through the lens of the social application of Re-imagine Your Town and related explorations in Virtual Reality.