Doctor of Arts Seminar at Media Lab: TIME-BODY STUDY – Exploring the impact of narrative re-embodiment experiences in virtual reality on the boundaries of body, identity and self

Welcome to the Doctoral Seminar at Media Lab:

Wednesday 16 November 2016, from 14:30-16:30

Miestentie 3, OTANIEMI, 4th floor, room 433 (Paja)

Exploring the impact of narrative re-embodiment experiences in virtual reality on the boundaries of body, identity and self.

by Daniel Landau

Short description:

“An identity is a set of meanings applied to the self in a social role or as a member of a social group that define who one is.” (Burke and Tully, 1977)

What does it feel like to own, to control, and to be inside a body? Exploitation of immersive virtual reality has allowed a reframing of this question to whether it is possible to experience the same sensations towards a virtual body inside an immersive virtual environment as toward the biological body. In the present era, questions regarding one self are constantly being asked and challenged. Issues of personal identity affect how we relate to others. Identity has become one of the single most important issues for human development and adjustment in today’s turbulent times.

Time Body Study is a narrative base re-embodiment experiment set to explore the boundaries of body, identity and self. In the experiment participant, wearing a virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD), is re-embodied in the body of a 7, 40 and 80 year old person. Inspired by the classic Rubber Hand Illusion (Botvinick & Cohen 1998) and the work of Prof. Mel Slater (Barcelona University), The Time-Body Study creates the re-embodiment illusion by having a participant see his virtual hands being touched in the virtual space while, simultaneously and in perfect sync, his real hands are being touched, by a live performer. Both Botvinick and Slater’s experiments used this mechanism to demonstrate how easy it is to manipulate our body representation so that a subject can experience a rubber or virtual hand as his own. In Time-Body Study Daniel Landau adds narrative layers to the re-embodiment experience in an attempt to explore this cognitive mechanism on an emotional level.

Daniel Landau |

Daniel Landau – is a media artist, lecturer and researcher. He completed his second degree in music composition and new-media at the Royal Conservatory in The Netherlands where he lived and worked for nearly a decade. In his work Daniel explores the complex relationship between body and technology, tracing techno-political processes and their impact on social and private spaces. His work has been presented in major venues, museums and festivals worldwide including: Jerusalem, New-York, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Tokyo, Paris Hungary and Mexico City. Between 2012-15 Daniel led the Media Studies at the Midrasha Faculty of the Arts, Beit Berl Academic College. Daniel is the Co-founder and Director of oh-man, oh-machine – an art, science and technology platform that includes an international conference, workshops and a research lab.