Saturday, January 23, 2010

Layered cuts

Seminar 3 of the ESRC Seminar Series raised lots of interesting issues about overlapping 'worlds', 'spaces', or 'realities' associated with technoliteracy practices. Speakers included Christine Greenhow, Paul Coulton, and Keri Facer. Although we'd billed the session as addressing the topic of mixed reality, that term soon got pluralised, augmented and generally pulled about. I was left thinking about ways in which reality is layered with varying amounts of textual mediation, with the textual including all modalities. Now I'd normally feel more comfortable talking about multiple realities in the plural, but in this instance I am unconvinced that virtual or technosocial spaces actually constitute separate realities. So, provisionally I'll stick with the singular layered and textually mediated description. Virtually (!) at the same time we engaged in the familiar identity debates - another easily pluralised concept. Here I find myself moving away from any conception of fixity (the core difficulty with the performance metaphor) drifting ever closer towards what Gergen describes as 'relational being'. To quote: 'The bounded and centred self is undone.' (Gergen, 2002:6)

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