Title

Eyes Closed: Diving into the Virtual

Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Jonathan Cutler, Robyn Autry

Major

Sociology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Abstract The proliferation of modern technological innovation has transformed society by bring us closer and closer together and virtual existence as well as alternate modes of being in the world have long been an interest of creative minds. The realm of the virtual has come to dominate society in many ways and recent breakthroughs in technological computing and hardware design have brought scientists and programmers closer to their dreams of using new technologies to augment human reality so that our population can reach new heights. The realms of art, culture and technical production industries have represented through the genre of science fiction a transcendence that technologies could potentially help society achieve and these representations often illuminate widespread cultural anxieties about the present or near future brought on by innovative design. I dive into the interesting dialectic between critical theorists, film producers and movies as well as technological entrepreneurs with the purpose of uncovering collective attitudes regarding human beings relationship to technological objects, especially those once considered objects of science fiction. This project illuminates and explores the creative as a site for contemplating our presents and futures with innovative technologies such as virtual reality that enables access to alternate modes of existence. Though my own creative non-fiction piece I call for a new order, providing a feminine perspective that privileges the role of the unconscious in waking life and calls into question our current relationship to the virtual. In doing so, I wish to reorient the dominant narrative of access and transcendence by means of man-made computer simulations to that of the ephemeral space of dreams and the immaterial.

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