Avatars, Extended Reality, And Neo-Social Space: Forming The New Identity


Research, multi-media practice

As a researcher for NYU Gallatin’s summer research fellowship program, I finished a project exploring the geneology and essence of virtual identity with a paper and some creative outputs as result. This is a project that examines the concept of virtual identity from realms of theatre to emerging technology/media like VR/AR/XR, linking the realtionship between an internal demand of identity and realistic tools that helps us to build the virtual identities and social spaces. The research is an interdisciplinary one that combines theories of media/art/philosophy with examinations of emerging technologies and phenomena, analyzing the mechanics and potentials of different approaches available now.The project does not seek to propose any specific technologyas perfect, but points to a critical and open discussion of our identity-establishing process within the context of technology and media. 

︎Click to read the paper

Creative Output

The researching process provokes many ideas for me as a content creator, and I transfer some of them into creative practices as a way to help me experience the topics directly.

The indication of augumented reality in adding a mediated layer on the reality world through digital techniques has a special meaning for me as it is different virtual reality whichtries to block out the interface and the perceptual existence of reality within the user’s arena. I make connection between the “transporting to another realm as alternative reality” power of AR with the Isekai 異世界 narrative in Japanses fantasy world, in which the protagonists are send toward another world and manage to survive there, usually with skills and experiences they learn from the real world.

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I also explores the motion capture technology that is widely used in making virtual streaming shows nowdays. As there are many available tools, I build an relatively-easy workflow of vroid-3 tene-OBS that allows me to stream with a 3d avatar within days. I consider the implement of virtual avatar as a kind of digital choreography that balances the element of reality and virtual within one individualized incarnation.



         JUN ZHOU-©2022