• Anamersion: Toward a postcinematic poetics of immersion

Kirschner, Anja, 2023, Thesis, Anamersion: Toward a postcinematic poetics of immersion PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

The contribution of my practice-led research is the development of anamersion, a postcinematic poetics of immersion, which attends to the immersive conditions of contemporary life forms. Notions of mutational convergences of bodies, environments, and technologies and their differential mapping and navigation are developed in dialogue with Unica Zürn’s figuration of (her) (female) body and its institutionalisation as one formation in her illustrated text The House of Illnesses, Kathy Acker’s conception of the labyrinth as the site where codes are made flesh, and Porpentine Charity Heartscape’s explorations of trauma in their computer games set in horror mansions, with special attention to the way writing, drawing, and algorithmic operations often co-constitute each other in their works and in my own practice. Bringing these predominantly pre-computational engagements to bear on technology-dependent forms of immersion in gaming and virtual reality (VR), my practice-led research provides an analysis of immersive, navigational, and environmental figurations through modes of drawing, moving image, and multimedia installation that respond to Wynter’s call for a New Studia, and Zürn, Acker, and Heartscape’s disruptions of anatomical, architectural, and textual figurations on its own terms. Developing anamersion primarily with reference to Sylvia Wynter’s thought and, by extension, that of Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Louis Chude-Sokei, Denise Ferreira da Silva, and others, emphasis is laid on the ways in which the over-represented genre of the human, Man, continues to manifest in and as bodies, environments, and technologies today. Understanding anamersion as a form of what Wynter calls figuration Work, anamersive approaches map, navigate, and traverse such generic structurations from the implicated and immersed positions, which have the potential to be in solidarity with the Wynterian unsettling of the genre Man by challenging conceptions of technology which carry over post-Enlightenment monohumanism into derivative posthumanisms, which continue to reproduce colonial logics with deadly consequences. Anamersion, as analytic and poetics, thus presents a significant and original contribution to the fields of artists’ moving-image and postcinematic studies, which focus on the environmental and navigational trajectories of moving-image and immersive technologies today and elaborates how these can be refigured to produce generative detachments and exits from the linear developmental narratives that underwrite a violent world order.

KEYWORDS: anamersion, immersion, post-cinema, postcinematic, moving image, gaming, virtual reality, navigation, mapping, drawing, figuration, humanism, genre, environment, body, hybridity, technology, Sylvia Wynter, Kathy Acker, Unica Zürn, Porpentine Charity Heartscape.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: AHRC (Techne) [1947352]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immersion; gaming; moving image; navigation; post-cinema
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2023 11:46
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2023 12:20
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5487
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