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Presence, telepresence, images and the self

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In the same way that humans have always had the need for inventing fictional and virtual worlds, they have also experimented an attraction for the threatening and fascinating ideas of the doppelgänger, automata, and by the related phenomena of desembodiment, ubiquity, remote viewing, bilocation, splitting personalities. The phenomenon of bilocation, for instance, has been widely mentioned in different philosophical and religious systems such as Shamanism, Christian mysticism, Hinduism, Paganism and others as the ability that some individuals (often saints, monks or mystics) would have of being in two, or more, places at the same time. The advent of the Internet, new technologies and social networks has opened up new and unexpected possibilities in this respect, enabling one to expand oneself. If not long ago, these experiences had to be ‘lived’ through cinema and literature; today, it is possible to undergo them in first person: everyone is allowed to create other selves, other profiles, avatars, entities or doppelgängers that can operate in the world (remotely) as extensions of him or her. Consequently, the image has also undergone a change in function and status, opening new possibilities through its digitalization. The present work intends to explore the relationship between presence, telepresence, images and the self.
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Keywords: double; images; multiplicity; presence; self; telepresence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Plymouth

Publication date: May 17, 2012

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  • Technoetic Arts focuses upon the juncture between art, technology and the mind. Divisions between academic areas of study, once rigidly fixed, are gradually dissolving due to developments in science and cultural practice. This fusion has had a dramatic effect upon the scope of various disciplines. In particular, the profile of art has radically evolved in our present technological culture
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