VR as Poesis


Session Title:

  • Virtual Illusion

Presentation Title:

  • VR as Poesis



  • Char Davies approaches the medium of immersive virtual space as a philosophical arena for constructing architectures of enveloping immaterial form. Davies will show documentation of her well-known work Osmose with its dozen worlds of forest, earth, pond, abyss, code, text, and so on, while discussing various paradoxes inherent to the medium such as embodiment/ disembodiment, and 3D form/immateriality. Whereas conventional VR design reflects a cultural world-view in which empty space is filled with hard-edged objects etc., Davies’ approach embraces the medium’s paradoxes by working with transparency, luminosity, spatial ambiguity, and temporality. She has pioneered a body-centered user interface of breath and balance with the intent of affirming the role of the subjectively-felt physical body in virtual space. While”virtual reality” is often interpreted as a technology offering escape from earthly and bodily concerns, Davies believes that it can also be used to facilitate intensified awareness of one’s own embodied yet ephemeral being in the sensuous flowing world. Future implications of the medium are double-edged, for while such virtual environments may offer temporary refuge from urban stress, these new sites may also signal the receding of traditional contemplative rituals and non-human others from our lives.