Beyond Binary Digital Embodiment
Clinnin, Kaitlin Marie
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The late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen the creation of new forms of subjectivities that represent the integration of digital and information technologies into construction of the self and bodies. I argue that to this point there has not been a satisfactory theoretical framework for the experience of bodies in virtual environments that does not default to problematic binaries of physical and virtual, real and unreal, and meaningful and meaningless. These dualistic constructions render experiences of bodies within virtual settings meaningless. In order to examine how this power differential between physical and virtual came to be, I engage with Katherine Haylesâ evaluation of information as a disembodied entity. I argue that Haylesâ humanist principles prevents her from fully understanding the experience of bodies within virtual spaces as meaningful and important. I then deconstruct the materialist basis of representation in order to demonstrate how information can be reconceived as an embodied force. I further analyze digital media art installations, specifically dance performances, to examine how digital bodies are currently experienced in relationship to corporeal forms. I finally offer two new theories of
and the networked body in order to dismantle the binary between physical and virtual and to make a space for all embodied experiences to be valued.
- Masters Theses