Performing Re-mediation in Graphical Cyberspace: Mediating Agency, Body and Identity in Virtual Interactional Practices

    Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearch


    Promoted as the first academic conference to be held completely in graphical cyberspace, Avatars 98 took place in November 1998. The virtual conference site was built and inhabited using software that supports multi-party presence over the Internet in a simulated, navigable environment. During the conference, avatar-embodied speakers using text chat performed to virtual audiences, 'webcams' (re)broadcast live video images of CNN and other remote sites, and a 'webcast' sent audiovisual representations captured by video camera of certain key participants in their physical locations. Such a novel and spectacular multi-media event raises many questions. How do we conceive of the recent developments in media technology and social computing that are impacting on what we have traditionally called 'the mass media'? How is interaction and talk mediated and adapted to new media genres? And how do participants construct and maintain senseful talk in a sometimes bewildering, 'inhabited', digitally re-mediated public environment? What is especially interesting about the cyberconference event is the ways in which participants themselves shaped their talk to constitute media spaces, presences and participation frameworks through the multimedia representations that were 'cast' and 'served' across the Internet. If such a ceremonial event had been broadcast through the institutional medium of television, broadcast talk would have been produced for an eavesdropping 'mass audience'. Instead, the digitally re-mediated event comprised talk for a variety of locally differentiated recipients. Indeed, at one point the virtual presenter was simultaneously speaker, audience member and spectator. Live video recordings of interactions between virtual participants in the conference are analysed to determine how the particular forms of online 'broadcast', 'multicast' and 'served' talk are structured by the affordances of the technology, the network and the media, and constituted by the interactional practices of the participants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2000
    Publication statusPublished - 2000
    EventDigital Borderlands symposium - Norrköping, Sweden
    Duration: 12 May 200013 May 2000


    ConferenceDigital Borderlands symposium


    • Cyberspace, Remediation, Body, Identity, Virtual Reality


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