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Posted on 19 July 2016

Michael at Transimage 2016

CogNovo fellow Michael Straeubig presented his paper "How to Perceive the Virtual Image? On the Distinction Between 'Virtual' and 'Real'" at the Transdisciplinary Imaging conference in Plymouth this month.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are two rapidly developing technologies that become increasingly entangled with our daily lives. This is apparent in such different phenomena as the world-wide augmented reality game Pokémon Go and the growing application of VR in medical and psychological contexts (see also Kathryn B. Francis' project on moral cognition). In the footsteps of these developments follow significant cultural disruptions that require us to re-contextualize and criticize established positions regarding the role of perception, media and meaning.

Michael, whose PhD project adapts mixed reality as a medium for play, interrogated in his talk the often cited distinction between "virtual" and "real" through the example of the image. He approached the topic from multiple angles, ranging from Aristotle's notion of the potential, the virtuality of English landscape gardens and animal perception to the 48-hour VR performance "Disconnected" by Thorsten Wiedemann and Sara Lisa Vogl. His enquiry is influenced by system-theoretic and (radical) constructivist thinking, based on the works of Heinz von Foerster, Humberto Maturana / Francisco Varela, and Niklas Luhmann.

The presented paper will be published in conjunction with the other contributions of the conference in Ubiquity - Journal of Pervasive Media.

The ATEMPORAL IMAGE is the fourth iteration in the Transdisciplinary Imaging (Transimage) conferences series. The event took place at Plymouth University from the 1st to the 3rd of July 2016, featuring keynotes by Arthur I. Miller, Rachael Armstrong and Sean Cubitt. The theme of the conference asked about the various modes in which temporality informs contemporary visual culture. It invited responses across a wide range of media and practices such as media arts, painting, drawing, curating, installation, film, video, photography, computer/data visualization/sonification, real-time imaging, intelligent systems and image science.

CogNovo is an innovative doctoral program, funded by the EU Marie Curie initiative and Plymouth University, to foster research training in the emerging field of Cognitive Innovation. CogNovo offers transdisciplinary training that combines scientific studies of the neural correlates and mechanisms of creativity, with investigations into the role of creativity in human cognition, and their application in sustainable technological and social innovation.