Appearance, Absence, Art: The Objet A-vatar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter suggests a model for reconceiving avatar in terms of desire and loss to reassess their role within creative practices and the construction of digital subjectivity. This focuses on the avatar as appearance, as a negotiation of presence and absence, and as a tool for critical art practice in Second Life. By placing the avatar as Lacan's objet petit a, the lost object cause of desire, the structure of the visual and cognitive gaze applies Žižek's concept of parallax to digital embodiment, reformulating a subjective position between physical and digital modes of being. Taking into account the position of the observer amidst the fluidity of contemporary identity, the manipulation of the structures of desire and control can create new experiences that alter our relation to presence and absence in the critical and creative mediation of avatars and its implications for embodiment as a function of consciousness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Opportunities for Artistic Practice in Virtual Worlds
EditorsDenise Doyle
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
Pages118-138
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781466683853
ISBN (Print)9781466683846
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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    Benjamin, G. (2015). Appearance, Absence, Art: The Objet A-vatar. In D. Doyle (Ed.), New Opportunities for Artistic Practice in Virtual Worlds (pp. 118-138). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-8384-6.ch006