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23 maggio 2019: Lily Hibberd: Softselves. Being Another as a Social Practice and Ethics of Care

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Seminario di Filosofia dell'immagine - Edizione 2018-19: “Avatar”

Lily Hibberd - Université Paris Diderot, University of New South Wales

Softselves: Being Another as a Social Practice and Ethics of Care

23 maggio 2019, h. 17.30-19.30.

Sala Seminari, sottotetto del Dipartimento di Filosofia, Cortile della Ghiacciaia, via Festa del Perdono 7


Today’s technologically embodied avatar exists at the advancing interface of human consciousness and the brain, body with computer-generated images and sounds. The concept of “softselves” arises from research into neuroplasticity along with new philosophies of human cognition and technology, such as Andy Clark’s theory of “distributed cognition”. The softselves of technological alterity promise transformation through the freedom to shed old selves for new, but these liberties are not equally distributed or available to all those who enter present-day cyberspace or virtual environments, where one person’s freedom to act is another’s victimhood. Softselves are paradoxically the hypersexualised or racialised erotic, exotic, insane and helpless archetypes of virtual reality, who find themselves vulnerable; at risk of implied or real violence, or simply excluded or alienated. My creative collaboration with former residents of the Australian child welfare institution Parramatta Girls Home on the immersive film Parragirls Past, Present: unlocking memories of institutional ‘care’ has highlighted very different approaches to the remaking of self. Realised under the ongoing trauma of serious childhood physical and sexual abuse, softselves were generated in this immersive artwork that allowed for assemblages of complex, dissonant and contingent selves; an alter-alterity. Reclaiming softselves also represents an act of “warfare” for self-care, a liberation from the industrial medical model of ‘care’ as social control (which therapeutic/empathic VR echoes). This talk presents this endeavour in a lineage of techniques of the self: creative approaches and forms (including recent immersive media) that have carved out spaces for generative and transformative fantasy, such as normative dissociation. An alter-alterity for softselves thus allows us to critically examine possibilities for real freedom and self-determination in immersive media.

La partecipazione all’incontro è fortemente consigliata consigliata agli allievi della Scuola di Dottorato in Filosofia e Scienze dell’Uomo e può essere valutata come attività didattica del Dottorato di ricerca in Filosofia e Scienze dell'Uomo.

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23 maggio 2019
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