Title: How to see art through the eyes of an avatar: Cao Fei's progression to online immersion

Authors: Morgan Skinner

Addresses: Department of Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects, Savannah College of Art and Design, 342 Bull St., Savannah, GA 31401, USA

Abstract: Between 2004 and 2011, artist Cao Fei constructed an art-based theoretical framework that serves as a foyer into discussing online immersive environments. Spurred on by the colloquially reductive definitions of online worlds, and the lack of theoretical framework surrounding the experience of art through an avatar, this article aims to create a linguistic and theoretical framework for understanding these worlds and intersections. The following article divides the framework into three stages that subsequently become the three sections of this study: the World of fantasy, the World in flux, and the World as informational. In these three stages, Cao Fei utilises the theme of cosplay and its associated fantasy to uncover its function in determinant and material space, online immersive space, and a hybrid of both spaces. This paper makes a case for the significance of online immersive spaces as a technological evolution and shows the possibilities for creating meaning within.

Keywords: fantasy; cosplay; technology; homo technologicus; biomediated body; online immersive spaces; flux; avatar; avatar spaces; technological mirror stage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2019.097335

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2019 Vol.11 No.1, pp.4 - 18

Available online: 10 Jan 2019 *

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