Edge Effects: Queer Virtual Arcades

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

What happens at the edges of bordercrossing technologies? Our poster showcases an exploratory, Benjaminian digital experiment that queers the investigation into who and what and how emerging technologies connect with our bodies, lives and desires. This work is part of a larger project investigating tools, platforms and digital strategies that help us to weave together the digital and the analogue, human and machine, and interactivity that moves us beyond linearity to multiplicity, and for ELO we are excited to highlighting our proposed experimental project archive, still in the early stages of development as we are considering multiple platforms and seeking feedback. We’re building a kind of queer digital arcades - both platform and method - weaving together poetry, elit, theory and ephemera to perform an interactive, technoerotic story that troubles the borders between technologies, selves, others and the world. Our goal is to offer de-centred and multiple entry points to explore the increasingly ubiquitous technologies that summon our curiosities, vulnerabilities and penetrability, and implicate our skin, our memories of the basement bar, and our bravery. This multivocal work includes both poetic and analytical texts, electronic literature and theory as we work to visually and associatively map a series of technologies and concepts into constellations and queer formations. We understand and use the term “queer” methodologically – that is, we believe that queerness is a way of doing, whether that doing is in the production, consumption, or circulation of digital forms. The queerness here is in the very structure of the interface, the affordances of the platform, the non-linear, expansive, and associative logics that are revealed through exploration. The result is aspirational as much as, or more than, it is analytic, prompting users to imagine new speculative queer worlds as we all grapple with the ones we currently inhabit. The larger project aims to literalize the circuit formed by the digital and the queer, thus representing an emerging, heterogenous interactivity that produces radical possibilities, possibilities that we call edge effects. Our Benjaminian digital arcade aims both to capture and perform some of these edge effects and will include new electronic writing alongside experiments in spatial theorymaking. We are considering a variety of platforms at this time, including: 1) VR Chat; 2) an emerging beta platform for webvr and 3) Unity. We anticipate having screen captures of prototypes across multiple platforms and perhaps active links to beta worlds to share at the time of the conference.

Fisher and Engel ELO 2021 Poster
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Record posted by: 
Carlota Salvado...