Thesis Info

Thesis Title
InquirySpace: an Immersive Document in the Style of the 'Opera Reductio'
Kenneth Fields
2nd Author
3rd Author
Doctor of Philosophy in Media Arts
Number of Pages
University of California Santa Barbara
Thesis Supervisor
Curtis Roads
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Victoria Vesna, Jack Loomis, Stephen Pope, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Music, Art, Cognitive Science, Computer Science
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
Mediawork, Semiotics, Presence, Immersive, Inquiry
Abstract: 200-500 words
This work integrates hypertext, sound synthesis and immersive technology. Its purpose is to explore the potential of immersive technology in its aspect as a language machine, as a simulator of the physical components of inquiry - a unified field of visual, textual, and auditory symbology. The concept of 'presence' provides a bridge between a veridicality which is normally sought in virtual environment (VR) applications and that which is also sought in poetic practice - namely the presence of a 'subject' who is bodily immersed in the physical aspects of language: sound, rhythm, or even the shape of written letters. InquirySpace experiments with the 'practice' of textwork as conceived by Julia Kristeva in Revolution of Poetic Language. This new dynamic theory of poetic language is situated within the realm of biology, psychoanalysis, epistemology, and the 'sciences' of signification. Its aim is the discovery of new signifying 'devices' to align human drives to their goals. The devices conceived in the midst of this dissertation were several: the emphasizing of the dissertation as a subjective process; the remetaphorizing of VR as an 'immersive document' - thereby deconstructing expectations that surround virtual reality and video games; the framing of the dissertation as an opera (philosophical theater) - thereby widening the scope of functional theory into the realm of the poetic; the extension of Kristeva's concept of textwork to that of 'mediawork;' finding in the concept of mediawork a methodological practice around which to organize teaching, curriculum, and a discourse of media arts; and finally, the production of a novel artifact demanded by a unique interdisciplinary program of study.