Virtual Reality as Revealing the Self

In his multi-volume Technics and Time, Philosopher Bernhard Stiegler argues that human beings and technology are intrinsically linked together in a co-constitutive relationship. According to Stiegler, we invent ourselves through technology and through this process we constitute the conventions that make us who we are; time, society and culture. For Stiegler, technology and humans are fundamentally united – and technology is equally as much something in us as it is something outside us. Thus, as technology is an expression of our selves it is equally an existential problem, as we are designing our becoming. In this talk, I wish to extend this thought to our current VR technologies: what is it in ourselves that VR is symptomatic of? What can VR teach us about our selves? And if what we create is a question of who we want to be — what sort of virtual worlds should we wish to design? Through the talk, I will discuss humanity’s fondness for illusion, drama, art, representation and play in how these aspects of ourselves have their technological culmination in VR. Having discussed Continental philosophy of technology, we will continue discussing VR as intrinsically human, through the Hindu notion of Maya – Illusion. We discuss the perspective of VR as a microcosm and a crystallization of our fundamental identity. Finally, we review the potential of virtual worlds for altering our consciousness.

Cast

Joakim Vindenes
Speaker

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