Cenk Güzelis, Greta Schott, Sabrina Dorner, Sophia Niederkofler, Leonard Schwaegerl, Ömer Gürel, Bahattin Bozdogan, Magdalena Frick, Atakan Özkan

 Can’t Figure You Out, 2022

VR experience for Oculus Quest

Russell's Glitch Feminism recognizes the tremendous possibilities of remixing and remaking the body in cyberspace. Russel emphasizes that “we are not one but many bodies” and that our identities are not constrained by geopolitics and socioeconomics, but rather that through the Internet and digital culture, it is possible to create a multiplicity of selves, new kinds of communities, and new terms of representation.

 

Taking Haraway's statement into account, "To be one is always to become with many," the Cant Figure You Out experience approaches the expression "becoming-with-avatar" as a methodological, affective, and practical mode for designing embodied spatial experiences aiming to turn one's physical presence into an aesthetic and immersive experience in a highly sophisticated networked XR setting, combining multi-user VR and motion tracking, where one is conceived and perceived simultaneously as both subject and object and becomes a partial figure of the spatial configuration. Our comprehension of becoming-with is consistent with Barad's agential realist ontology, in which the world is not made up of discrete "things," but rather "phenomena-in-their-becoming" — "a radical open relatedness of the world worlding itself"

 

Multi-user Room-scale mixed-reality experience

 

Worlding is informed by our turning of attention to a certain experience, place or encounter and our active engagement with the materiality and context in which events and interactions occur.”[1] In that regard, Becoming-with reveals itself as a form of multi-species worlding which opens up the frames of what registers to us and so what matters to us.[2] Considering this approach to “becoming-with” as multispecies worlding, in the design process, we extensively collaborated with virtual avatars, considering them crucial and affective mediators between organic and inorganic, physical and virtual, and subject and object, to explore online modes of spatial experiences where subjects enter embodied and aesthetic relations with objects in space, and asked the following questions:

How can “physical presence” be turned into a spatial design method and become the object of design in virtual space? How does the body become sculptural, and the sculpture becomes spatial in the virtual space? What are the spatial qualities of the human avatar assembly?

 

These inquiries guided us towards a practical design investigation: departing from the field of sculpture and performance arts, the seminar explored the intrinsic relationship between architecture and sculpture, where classical attributions such as architecture as a space-creator and sculpture as a body-creator were examined and their boundaries were negotiated within the virtual space as an expanded field of experimentation.

 

[1] Palmer, Helen, and Vicky Hunter. “Worlding.” New Materialism, 2018. Accessed December 10, 2022. newmaterialism.eu/almanac/w/worlding.html.

[2] Wright, Kate. “Becoming-With.” Environmental Humanities 5, no. 1 (May 1, 2014): 277–81. https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-3615514.

IMAGES

VIDEO LINK

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Cenk Güzelis is an architect, researcher, and media artist based in Innsbruck, Austria, currently holding a position as a faculty member and PhD fellow at ./studio3, the Institute for Experimental Architecture, in Innsbruck University. His design projects, teaching, and research examine hybrid modes of spatiality and embodied telepresence through performative new media installations revolving around online culture, ubiquitous computing, automated cognition, post-human critique, media studies, IoT, and spatial internet.

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.

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