The Weird Giggle: Attending to Affect in Virtual Reality

Susan Kozel, Ruth Gibson, Bruno Martelli

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Within the poetic digital space of Virtual Reality philosophical and cultural narratives collide. Do artistic experiments in VR provide the ultimate freedom for our development as a species or plunge it into passive reception of pure violence ? This article aims to chart a path through a small slice of thought and affective experiences of VR on the basis of a practical application of phenomenological reflection and the somatic movement practice Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT). The practical experiences of VR to be discussed are based on one particular VR artwork: MAN A VR by Gibson / Martelli. Affect, by way of phenomenology, bridges virtual reality and embodied lived experience. The result is an expansion of the somatic register of VR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages23
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2018


  • Virtual Reality
  • Affect
  • Somatic
  • Phenomenology
  • Skinner Releasing Technique

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