Marta Di Francesco
22 min readDec 21, 2018

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J A N U S

Inspired by the ancient god of time, JANUS is a project that questions identity and presence, as past and future face each other.

‘We are simply made up of memories. Time is space. And as we move through it, our being is made, a thread knit by moments’.― from Janus (2017)

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (/ˈdʒeɪnəs/; Latin: IANVS (Iānus), pronounced [ˈjaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways,[1] passages, and endings

He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.

JANUS is a volumetric video (2017) and a VR experience (2018).

JANUS VR was presented in London, at the Ugly Duck space in 2018

JANUS is a poetic and contemplating VR art experience that explores the duality of time and its effects on our identity.

The virtual reality piece uses volumetric capture to immerse the viewers in a dance and a dialogue between two dancers who reveal to be past and future — the two faces of time.

This transcript is an extract from my talk, including — as a context to the project — an intro to my practice and a mention of the references that have inspired me, with a focus on the project’s themes of time and identity.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. French Symbolism
  3. Identity and Otherness
  4. Time
  5. Poetics and politics of Time
  6. From early time explorations to volumetric aesthetics
  7. Virtual Reality
  8. JANUS VR
  9. Conclusion
  10. References

Introduction

Inspired by the ancient two-faced god of time, JANUS is a poetic, contemplating VR art experience, that explores time consciousness and its effect on identity.

Based on video piece created in 2017, Janus VR is a piece that represents a further step into my interest in the exploration of identity, sculptural time and presence, concepts previously questioned in my early work, using time displacement techniques such as slit scanning and volumetric aesthetics.

JANUS volumetric video, (2017)

Poetry was my first inspiration and mean of expression, before film and code. With my visual pieces, everything usually starts with an image either conjured whilst awake, or in a dream, and a piece of prose that lays the architecture for the visuals.

I started working on Janus in 2016. I then wrote a piece of prose and whilst imagining the piece to be dual and consisting of a volumetric video and a VR experience, I focused my research on recent studies and findings around time perception and distortion in Virtual Reality; and whilst doing so, I have also being exposed to interesting notions around perception in neuroscience, cognitive science, and quantum physics, that have informed and inspired the project.

In the process, I was therefore able to combine some of this most recent research with some of the earliest inspiration from my life — Symbolist and Surrealist poetry.

2. French Symbolism

French Symbolism had been a source of inspiration since my early years and it consciously and unconsciously informed most of my work. Elements of the Symbolist movement such as Synaesthesia, Correspondences, Alterity and concept the creation of Artificial paradise — were fascinating to me then, and have become yet urgent and relevant again, when faced with the exploration of sensorial immersion and embodiment in virtual reality in the creation of the piece, and within the context of the rise of mixed realities.

Synaeshtesia is the condition that happens when a sense, such as sight, triggers another sense, like smell, at the same time: when someone’s senses are blended. The word from the Greek syn for “together” and the root aisthe for “to feel.”

Rimbaud “Vowels” is an example of Symbolist Poetry early exploration and fascination with the condition of synaesthesia. In the poem, Rimbaud, explores ‘coloured hearing’, by creating associations between colours and vowels.

‘A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels, I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins’. ― Arthur Rimbaud

According to the latest research in Neuroscience, there are anywhere between 22 and 33 different senses. Synaesthesia is a neurological condition, and senses are indeed connected and intertwined with each other. They are not separated, locked in, but interdependent one with another.

The idea of interconnecticity and concept of relations between all living things, was introduced by the poem “Correspondances” by Charles Baudelaire, in which nature is described as a temple of symbols.

French Symbolism foresaw the concept of Correspondences and Relations between all living things. This very idea of hyperconnectivity, that everything is connected, and there are bridge between elements, under the form of signs, metaphors, symbols.

Symbolism was a reaction to Realism, which focused on the replication and imitation of reality — as opposed to the representation of an inner world, fuelled by dreams and symbols. Symbolism started in France 1900 beginning of consumeristic, capitalistic society

Mythology was also important. Symbolist wanted to imbue their works with spiritual value, also by creating imaginary dream worlds populated with mysterious figures from biblical stories and Greek mythology, as well as fantastical, often monstrous, creatures.

The concept of correspondences is founded on the idea of Nature as forest of symbols, that evoke particular states of mind. Poetry is evocative and symbolic and founded on sensations and intuition — spirituality, imagination, and dreams. Symbolism is concerned with the search for the existence of another reality and in the powers of the unconscious (reached through access to dreams, alcohol, drugs).

Symbolism was a reaction to modern life, to the world of consumerism, and to the alienation of the human being in this modern world of spectacle. Symbolism is an art of the dream, with the idea of the dream referring to alternative visions of reality, and of the poet as a seer, a visionary.

The use of metaphor is also very important, as it represents the power abstraction used in poetry. A metaphor is not the same as the meaning of individual words, but what’s in between.

The metaphor is the language of imagination. And a new meaning can only be apprehended by imagination, not by logic. Imagination is really a mode to understand Reality: a form of perception, of apprehending reality. Imagination doesn’t rely on logic and reason, but it is not unreal for that reason.

Synaesthesia is relevant in the context of Virtual Reality, as virtual environments enhances immersion and presence by presenting consistent stimuli in visual and audial sensory channels, creating a world where our senses are hyper-connected.

3. Identity and Otherness

‘I is another.’― Arthur Rimbaud

Symbolists were also interested in the idea of Otherness.

Thinkers, artists, writers, have always been investigating identity. The self is obscure, contradictory, multiple. And identity is fluid.

‘Different people draw different worlds from me’.―V.Woolf

‘I am large, I contain multitudes’.―W.Whitman

Questioning identity in Virtual Reality is even more challenging. Identity is usually connected to the body, but in the virtual space, there is no body and the sense of self is not anchored but fluctuating.

Moreover nowadays, the digital self is a fragmented as the visits, the clicks and the transactions. Identity is data that gets extracted, analysed and projected back on the net. In biometrics, identity is not authenticated per itself, but in correlation to a template and others, so that there is a threshold. Identity becomes data, so you could be authentic, without being “real”.

Identity and otherness — are relevant in the context of VR embodiment, and in the context of discussing empathy. Identity is also relevant in the alarming context of the rise of the radical right. In the words of Franco Bifo Berardi:

‘Fascism, in its maximum conceptual extension (encompassing nationalism and religious fundamentalism, political authoritarianism, sexual aggression and so on . . .) can be brought back to a fundamental obsession: the obsession with identity, the obsession with belonging, with origin, with recognisability’.

― Franco Bifo Berardi

This obsession exploded over the course of our century, precisely because of deterritorialisation, of cultural contamination and de-identification. The fear of otherness results in violence against non — “normative” — identities. Identities under threats because of their skin, gender, beliefs. But also the ones left behind, outsiders, last ones.

But it’s precisely this sense of “otherness” that constitutes individual freedom, and harmony amongst living things. Of particular resonance on this theme, it’s the inspiring work by Édouard Glissant in his “Poetics of Relations”. Glissant explores identity through the lens of colonialism, migration and decolonisation, and advocates for borders that can exist but need being permeable. Glissant defends a lack of transparency, as a fundamental prerequisite for the constitution of the Other, just as difference is the basis for relations between all things, and difference and diversity are the most revolutionary power we have. In opposition to uniformisation, homologation of things — creolisation — as accepting cultures and communities associated with other and mixed with each other in an hybrid process — that creates unexpected consequences.

In Virtual Reality, embodiment allows for alterity, and offers a new ground for speculations around racial bias, for example. Interesting studies on the subject have been explored by Mel Slater and his team at the Event Lab of the University of Barcelona.

4. Time Inspiration around the notion of time from Physics, Neuroscience, and Philosophy.

The sense of time is important because viscerally connected to the awareness of death. I always being obsessed with mortality, as the essential thread that unites all beings.

We know about time instinctively and writers, artists, philosophers always questioned the nature of time. From Einstein to loop quantum theory, we know that time flows at different speed in different places, and the past and future differ a lot less than we might think.

According to Relativity, we already know that every line has its temporality — that the “now” doesn’t exist. According to Quantum physics — we learn that we are not in time — time is in us, we “are” time. If life is a labyrinth of memories, time is the essence and the flow.

In Neuroscience, time gets defined as a construction of the brain — that is linked to his consciousness. We are, essentially, made of time.

But the second most interesting research lies in the finding in Neuroscience that asserts that when you remember the past, or think about the future, you use the same area in the brain cortex.

The end of the fourth century’s work, the Confessions, by the theologian and philosopher, St. Augustin, with its reflections on time and memory, remains still very significant, in his reflections on time.

In Confessions, written between AD 397 and 400, Saint Augustine explores the notions of subjective time in mental time travel. His early reflections are still very relevant, as he explains time as the continuous exercise of reconstructing the past and anticipating the future, using the example of music.

When St Augustin refer to listening to a musical note, he states that he is not merely listening at one note at the time, but his brain creates a collection of the experience of listening to the music, by creating meaning — that comes from the note and the memory of the previous notes, as well as the anticipation of the future notes.

Time and self are hence connected, and subjective time is related to consciousness. The ability of travelling in mental time, is regarded as being at the heart of consciousness and at the centre of human cognition.

‘True alchemy lies in this formula: your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse’.― Arthur Rimbaud

So ultimately, it’s possible to state that memory helps the brain anticipating the future, and that memory is essential in thinking, as thinking is essential for long — term thinking. Memory is in a way, a tool for the future.

And memory uses imagination to do so. Imagination, effectively, is used for the recollection of memories. Imagination is what makes our sensory experience meaningful, enabling us to interpret and make sense of it; it is what makes perception more than the mere physical stimulation of sense organs. It produces mental imagery, visual and otherwise, which is what makes it possible for us to think outside the confines of our present perceptual reality, to consider memories of the past and possibilities for the future, and to weigh alternatives against one another.

Thus, imagination makes possible all our thinking about what is, what has been, and, perhaps most important, what might be.

Imagination is ultimately key in creation and critical thinking — allowing the necessary dimensions of space and time in order to discern between one thing and another.

5. Poetics and politics of time.

Walter Benjamin.

I have been particularly interested in Benjamin’s On the Concept of History. In his IX essay, Benjamin writes about the painting of Klee “ The Angel”.The writing is enigmatic, like Benjamin himself, a tormented and unconventional soul.

The theme is time. Benjamin describes the concept of time as an accumulation of ruins. Just like the statue of Janus on the Fabricio bridge in Rome, a ruin is a fragment of what once was. A small part, but that reminds us of a whole, that is not longer visible: like a ghost, this wholeness inhabit the remaining part, the ruin.

Benjamin explains how, according to him, it’s possible to understand the sense of time, and the present, only when one is in front of these ruins, of these fragments, this disintegration, just like in the case of the painting of the angel by Klee.

Only by staring at the ruins, — of what once had meaning, had a sense and a use, and not longer does, we can be truly aware of the passing of time. The ruin, juts like our experiences, that we have lived, and shaped us into the way we are, are the transfiguration of this transitions.

Our life is, but an accumulation of ruins. An accumulation of memories, fragments of an elusive wholeness.
The drama of the angel of Klee is that he can only look behind him.

Angelus Novus by Paul Klee (1920)

‘A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them.

The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress’. — Walter Benjamin

In the current economical and political climate, an idea of progress brought by for example, the advancement in AI, is in contrast with the resurgence of barbaric fascist ideologies. His criticism of the idea of progress is rooted in historical materialism. As we look forward to take steps into the years ahead, we are also invited to take few steps back. I always like to think of artists as pioneers, but also as archeologists. The story of man, of culture, of violence, is a story that goes back a long way.

The Ancient Romans used the prefix “ante” to describe something that has happened in the past. “Ante” translates as “in front of”. The ruins of the past, are visible, in front of our own eyes.

Romans thought of the past as not something that is behind us, but as something that is in front of us, as something we can see. They had the same concept of the past as the angel of Klee, that can only advance, by looking behind.Only the God of time, Janus, can look both ways.

Statue of Janus — at Pons Fabricius, the oldest bridge in Rome, Italy.

The society of spectacle.

‘The reality of time has been replaced by the advertisement of time. The spectacle is the false consciousness of time.’―Guy Debord

Capitalism sells us “completely equipped” blocks of time, each one constituting a commodity. Time saving, constantly sought by modern society is time that is not real, but spectacular. But even in those very moments reserved for living, it is still the spectacle that is to be seen and reproduced, becoming ever more intense. What was represented as genuine life reveals itself simply as more genuinely spectacular life. Abstract spaces, are those of capital and power. Time that used to be consumed in the factory is now time on social media — replacement of human time from labor/ but a new labor is here to replace the old one — ‘brain time labour’.

The above paragraph is particularly future facing, if we notice how social networks and digital media recreate this idea of new consumable time made up by images that counter oppose reality, but capitalism reproducing its dream and desires. Capitalism and neoliberalism — are directly corrected to the crashing of consciousness: self and class consciousness . Consciousness rising — is about becoming confident in what we feel — against the logic of capitalism, its controlling anxiety and the angst ridden individualism. Capitalism, with its accelerated pace of self promotion, induces anxiety and panic.

That is why slowing down and reacquiring one’s time is a moral, spiritual and political struggle. I am very interested in time, from a socio — economical context. Time is in fact, central to Capital.

Whilst the time of the ‘Spectacular’, is atemporal (Facebook, Instagram, Shopping, Casinos), on the other hand, Finance is extremely temporal. In Capitalism, time — speed is indeed crucial. The incentive in moving fast is perpetuated on all levels of public and private life. One just needs to think of the language used by Start-ups: Sprint, Overspeed, Accelerators.

But also one can also just think about what is the foundation of Capitalism, Debt as — the Future, always paying for the Past.

Consciousness class rising is founded on critical thinking ability, and critical thinking takes place in the temporality of our brain. The fight between attention and distraction, and the liberation of attention and of our own time, can be easily defined the moral and political struggle of our time. Distraction causes loss of time consciousness, it prevents us from being aware, being agent, being creative, active and participant.

I have been inspired by the writings of Mark Fisher. In his work, he describes the connection between Capitalism and loss of class consciousness, and how the rhythm of capitalism keeps us in a state of panic and anxiety and radical competitive individualism so that we can’t act together and have collective agency. He blames the Capitalist pulse, as responsible for the “desertification of daily life, the hyper-acceleration of rhythms, extreme individuality, ferocious competition in the school and in the labour market, and work precariousness / competition”. High tech capitalism implies an improvement in revenue and consumption, and an ever increasing productivity, constant competition and ceaseless intensification of the rhythms of work. This leads to loneliness, stress, competition, sense of meaninglessness, compulsion and failure.

‘Only prisoners have time to read, and if you want to engage in a twenty-year long research project funded by the state, you will have to kill someone’― Mark Fisher

6. From early time explorations to volumetric aesthetics

In my early work Crystal Delays (2011), I explored time delays by slowing down the video, multiplying the single frames that compose the image, to break down individual body movement, in order to recreate multiple frames, all slightly delayed from each other.

Crystal Delays (2011)

The piece was inspired by Norman McLaren “Pas de Deux”(1968), where the shots were originally superimposed ten times on top of themselves, with a delay of five frames between each of these steps, resulting in a quarter second lag between what appeared to be the same image.

Reverb (2012)

My interest in time displacement techniques evolved further, with Reverb (2012). An exploration of time displacement, Reverb continues to investigate the concept of time and identity, employing slit- scanning, as a technique that allows determined points in time to leak and blend all into one. Slit scanning is a time-bending technique which works on exposing different times of a video in the one frame, it becomes possible to glimpse into the past and future at the same time: different time layers are displayed at the same time and this temporal vortex creates a hole which allows us to see into the future as it pours out into the present.

Further, I started working with volumetric capture, and experiment, develop what I describe as aesthetics of sculptural quality of time.

I created my first volumetric project, Vault (2013), using the then RGBD toolkit (now Depthkit) a software created by artists James George and Alexander Porter, that combines depth data from a Kinect sensor with the colour from an SLR camera to create a volumetric capture.

Vault (2013)

Volumetric capture was a way for me to explore a new way to approach time and space. Seeing the first volumetric work by James George, gave me the sensation I was witnessing a radical break. I continued working with an aesthetics that for me, allowed me to explore what I describe as the sculptural quality of time in volumetric aesthetics. It felt like a radical break with traditional space — time representations, true to the idea of all possible dimensions in one. In a way, I describe it often as a Les Demoiselles d’Avignon moment (the painting created in 1907 by Picasso is considered to be the first cubist painting).

I was looking for an aesthetic that could be meaningful, spiritual, poetic. And I found in what became what I describe as volumetric aesthetics, the kind of transcendental quality I was looking for.

As I developed my unique aesthetics within the medium, I could elaborate what I describe as the ability to create — metaphysical threads— through ‘digital weaving’. In a digital process that has resonance with traditional sewing, I would develop a technique that is so based on a code — generated process, as well as a ‘hand made’ process, a frame to frame, manual one.

I describe in fact my practice, as being concerned with “threads”: poetic, digital, and metaphysical threads.

In the Metaverse, identity is bodiless and genderless, fluid. Bodies are connected, woven together by a common digital, metaphysical thread. In these days of digital connectivity connectedness we no longer have a body but have virtual bodies, whose dots and lines weave and connect into each other.

I am interested in Existence as a piece of fabric that has many interwoven metaphysical threads.

7. Virtual Reality

Far from being a total enthusiast of the VR as a medium per se, and the various claims that came along with the first marketing promises around the medium (here’s what I wrote a couple of years ago, in response the the VR empathy mantra). I am interested in how VR, creates another time and space dimension, where illusion takes over, abstract concepts can take place (like in animation), but also where time perception is dilated, distorted, and the sense of presence, altered.

VR, like Animation, is a non space — non time, where we can animate abstract concepts. New ontological possibilities, narrative speculations, are possible. Virtual Reality as other creative mediums has the capacity to make the invisible, visible.

‘The task of creative activity is not to reproduce the visible, but to make it visible’. — Paul Klee

Virtual reality provided the natural experimentation canvas for my practice, for two reasons:

Virtual Reality provides a natural evolution for my volumetric work to expand on—by creating a fully immersive virtual environment.

Virtual Reality allows for an even more holistic approach to art making. In my practice, I have been working with video, as a canvas that allows me to combine text, dance, poetry, ambisonic sound, etc. VR extends and maximise the potential of expressivity. The canvas that Virtual Reality offers is immediate, immersive, raw. Radical otherness of a new aesthetics can create profound opportunities for change: for a new language, new meaning, new imagination. Virtual Reality sparks a “sense of anyness” to use Jaron Larnier’s words, or of “total art” by Antonin Artaud.

Finally, since the project is centred on time, Virtual Reality is a space where the perception of time is altered, distorted and dilated. Time in VR is out of its usual “allocation”. Time in VR is like time in dreams, it obeys to different rules, to the ones that are subjugated to the time recording devices. There is a lot of academic studies researching into this — from people using VR to help patients with chemotherapy to research into circadian rhythms. There has been very interesting research on the topic, carried again by Mel Slater and his team at the Event Lab of the University of Barcelona.

8. JANUS VR

Janus VR is a poetic virtual reality experience that explores the duality of time.

Inspired by the two-faced ancient god of time, Janus questions the effect of time on our identity, as past and future face each other.

Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time and doorways and his mastership of time presides over concrete and abstract beginnings of the world. We are in times of political, economical and social transformation and existential unrest is inevitable.

The concept of liminality is relevant when questioning and defining identity, in times of transformation.

Through the VR headset, the viewers find themselves immersed in a dance and a dialogue between two dancers who reveal to be past and future — the two faces of time.

Janus VR is an exploration of identity, movement, perception, and presence. Janus VR aims at exploring new speculative narratives, creating an immersive experience with an unprecedented dialogue and union of part prose — part choreography — part performance, and ambisonic sound, within the digital space of virtual reality, opening new expressions and ontological possibilities.

The combination of VR and volumetric techniques used in the creation of the piece is key to explore the boundary between real and virtual, and for the audience to experience a deeper sense of presence.

Created using volumetric capture and real time rendering technology, and with an holistic approach to VR by combining narrative, dance performance, three-dimensional imaginary, poetry, and 360° ambisonic sound, Janus VR presents a unique and multi-layered approach to engaging an audience in an immersive and intimate experience.

VR is a space where the perception of time is altered and dilated, and a unique opportunity to experience a deep sense of presence, and the ideal medium to fully experience dance as the perfect art form to move through time and space. The piece was created using volumetric capture, and further developed in the Unity game engine and optimised for the Oculus Rift. The piece aims at being more immersive, than interactive, and uses eyes tracking, in order to trigger subtle nuances in the animation.

‘Time as an ocean and consciousness as a ripple of waking time that rides across the depths of our being.’―Marta Di Francesco

JANUS VR (2018)

Time doesn’t exist in dreams.
Time is an ocean only expert sailors can navigate.
Many crash under its wave.

We are made of all these dots in time, in a continuous flow, where the shape and line of these memories change, fade and reappear in a different form, under a different light.

What if we are simply made up of our memories?
Then time would be space. And as we move through it, our being is made, a thread knit by moments.

(from Janus, 2018)

9. Conclusion

I am interested in the idea of regaining time as a form of attention and resistance. As the economical, social and environmental crisis continues, it feels like the future closing in on us, and the sense of — what Bifo describes as ‘impotency’ is being able to understand and critically decide ‘in time’.

Critical ability exists in the temporality of our brain, to distinguish between between good and bad. Distraction has a negative impact on memory and attention, and consequentially, also on imagination.

In this era of distraction and acceleration, it’s imperative to defend the right to time. Regaining presence, can allow for long term thinking. And regaining time, can allow for more Attention.

Virtual Reality is a great medium for new speculations, but the real action needs being taken in the real world. Awareness and presence are concepts that are explored and questioned in the virtual reality experience.

If the French Symbolists were interested in an “Artificial paradise”, this is precisely the danger in the creation of alternative versions of Reality, that is the real distraction and lack of action in the real world. Sartre famously criticised Baudelaire for creating Artificial paradises, and being lost in them, consequentially failing to take real action in the real world.

Virtual Reality can be a tool of speculation, of new narrative possibilities, where the human act as agent, and not object. New ontologies can inspire new ways of thinking, and acting.

Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time and doorways and his mastership of time presides over concrete and abstract beginnings of the world. We are in times of political, economical and social transformation and existential unrest is inevitable. The concept of liminality is relevant in questioning and defining identity when everything around us is changing. Moments of transition are often accompanied by loss of identity.

A deep sense of presence is necessary to understand this moment and be able to take action in response to it, in order to combine the best of past and present.

The future is made by the same thread that controls the past. They are connected and interwoven with each other. Memory is key for the past not to repeat itself. In these times, when a worrying resurgence of nationalism and rising populism have re-emerged, it is key to reflect on the lessons learned from the past, to prevent history repeating itself.

The capacity of mastering awareness of both future and past allows one to be at one with the present and be able to be free, to be making choices, to take action.

‘We are at the threshold of a new era that will be defined by our ability to learn from the past in order to move forward into the future. A sense of presence is needed in moments of transition which are often accompanied by displacement and loss of identity, and necessary to understand the moment and take action in response to it.’―Marta Di Francesco

10. References

Charles Baudelaire “Les Fleurs du mal”, 1857

Arthur Rimbaud “A season in hell”, 1873

Arthur Rimbaud “Illuminations”, 1874

Jean-Paul Sarte “Baudelaire”, 1947

Walter Benjamin “On the Concept of History”, 1940

Angelus Novus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelus_Novus

Marie-Laure RyanNarrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media”, 2001

Nebojsa Kujundzic and William Buschert “The Closure of Imagination: The Poetics of Virtual Reality and the Body” Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 24.2 (June 1997): 211–17

Jaron Larnier “Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality”, 2017

Guy DebordSociety of the Spectacle”, 1967; Translation: Black & Red, 1977

Saint Augustine “The Confessions”, 401 AD; Translated by Edward Bouverie Pusey.

Christian Schatzschneider, Gerd Bruder, & Frank Steinicke “Who turned the clock? Effects of Manipulated Zeitgebers, Cognitive Load and Immersion on Time Estimation”, 2016

Carlo Rovelli “Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity”, 2016

Édouard Glissant “The Poetics of Relation”, 1990

Franco Bifo Berardi “And: Phenomenology of the End: Sensibility and Connective Mutation”, 2015

Mark Fisher “Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative?”, 2009

Mel SlaterBody Centred Interaction in Immersive Virtual Environments”, 1994

Mel Slater is co-Director at EVENT Lab: Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology Lab and led the Human Brain Project Neurorobotics Subproject Workshop at University of Barcelona, that took place on the 8th-9th March, Barcelona, Spain, and inspired significantly the evolution of the project.

I am also particularly grateful to be able to attend to some of the the conferences and workshops organised by the Sociological Review Foundation, and hosted at Goldsmith University.

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