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The Carnal Monitor: Feeling Posthuman Metaphysics Through Technological Fantasies in James Cameron’s Avatar

Atkin, Kendra LU (2012) KOVM12 20121
Division of Art History and Visual Studies
Abstract
This thesis seeks insight into a historical moment through an investigation of James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar, as an expression of a distinct form of posthumanism relevant to today’s digital network technology. Indicators of this include
biologically-oriented empirical science, unique and individualized production,environmental integration and a haptical monitoring experience. The avatar icon is a
useful illustration of this unique shift in the posthumanist paradigm as an indexical creation, custom made for both user and context.

Performing a material and intermedial investigation of Avatar, this paper proposes to read the film as a kind of Benjaminian fossil: the concrete remains of a capitalist
commodity, emptied of its... (More)
This thesis seeks insight into a historical moment through an investigation of James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar, as an expression of a distinct form of posthumanism relevant to today’s digital network technology. Indicators of this include
biologically-oriented empirical science, unique and individualized production,environmental integration and a haptical monitoring experience. The avatar icon is a
useful illustration of this unique shift in the posthumanist paradigm as an indexical creation, custom made for both user and context.

Performing a material and intermedial investigation of Avatar, this paper proposes to read the film as a kind of Benjaminian fossil: the concrete remains of a capitalist
commodity, emptied of its fetishistic and mythological value. Of particular interest are expressions of technological fantasy, both hopeful and fearsome as well as a pronounced ecological anxiety.

Concluding that the haptic, in particular, is asked to compensate for a reinvigorated existential anxiety in the contemporary multimedia monitoring practice, this trend is traced through the film’s diegesis and digital 3D technology. It is described how
haptic experience treads a liminal space between the medial economy and embodiment in posthuman subjectivity. (Less)
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author
Atkin, Kendra LU
supervisor
organization
course
KOVM12 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
avatar, James Cameron, haptic, monitor
language
English
id
2542856
date added to LUP
2012-08-20 10:33:40
date last changed
2012-08-20 10:33:40
@misc{2542856,
  abstract     = {This thesis seeks insight into a historical moment through an investigation of James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar, as an expression of a distinct form of posthumanism relevant to today’s digital network technology. Indicators of this include
biologically-oriented empirical science, unique and individualized production,environmental integration and a haptical monitoring experience. The avatar icon is a
useful illustration of this unique shift in the posthumanist paradigm as an indexical creation, custom made for both user and context.

Performing a material and intermedial investigation of Avatar, this paper proposes to read the film as a kind of Benjaminian fossil: the concrete remains of a capitalist
commodity, emptied of its fetishistic and mythological value. Of particular interest are expressions of technological fantasy, both hopeful and fearsome as well as a pronounced ecological anxiety.

Concluding that the haptic, in particular, is asked to compensate for a reinvigorated existential anxiety in the contemporary multimedia monitoring practice, this trend is traced through the film’s diegesis and digital 3D technology. It is described how
haptic experience treads a liminal space between the medial economy and embodiment in posthuman subjectivity.},
  author       = {Atkin, Kendra},
  keyword      = {avatar,James Cameron,haptic,monitor},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Carnal Monitor: Feeling Posthuman Metaphysics Through Technological Fantasies in James Cameron’s Avatar},
  year         = {2012},
}