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Augmentations across virtual and physical topologies: Mixed Reality re-assembled

Augmentations across virtual and physical topologies: Mixed Reality re-assembled

Rewa Wright / Australia
University of New South Wales
Paper

An analysis of the material-discursive practices surrounding Augmented Virtuality and Augmented Reality reveals the some- times digressional, sometimes convergent positions taken by computer science and media art on the issue of embodiment. Mapping out some of those positions, this paper considers Mixed Reality as a topology that has an entangled and material relationship with the body, that goes beyond an analysis of Mixed Reality as a technology of augmentation: rather, a topological understanding of Mixed Reality explores the patterns of diffraction ( Barad 2007: 29) that ripple and disrupt the material thresholds between physical and virtual, troubling the over simplified real/virtual dichotomy that permeates much Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research.

Tendering an argument for Mixed Reality as a continuous topology operating between physical and virtual spaces, I will address the contrived duality of embodiment/virtuality embedded in much of the literature surrounding Mixed Reality. Then, I will offer a contrasting view of Mixed Reality as a contiguous topology where virtual and physical are interwoven by contingent and conditional ‘meshworks’ (De Landa, 1998) of augmentation, involving technicity, devices, bodies, and objects.