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Embodied Worldmaking

  • Author(s): Wood, Timothy R
  • Advisor(s): Kuchera-Morin, JoAnn
  • Novak, Marcos
  • et al.

Embodied worldmaking explores the transdisciplinary creative intersection of embodied movement practice, known in the field of somatics, with virtual worldmaking performance and media arts practice. This research integrates diverse methods into a framework for creating immersive media performative artworks inspired from the body and the natural world that aim to create spaces of refuge for reconnecting to the whole body and sharing embodied stories of interconnectivity with land. This framework takes the form of the embodied worldmaking process, a set of integration methods prioritizing the body in relationship with creative expression, media arts practice, and interactive technology. Specific methods are shared for connecting embodied movement practice, embodied interaction design, performative virtual worldmaking practice, and creative coding system design.

This practice-based arts research is conducted through the iterated processes of creating poetic virtual worlds and instruments inspired by living ecologies, designing interaction mappings between whole-body sensing systems and virtual ecosystems, and exploring improvisational performance and embodiment practices within these systems. This performance research practice provides the grounding motivation for designing the creative coding system, seer, and the four integrative media artworks of this dissertation. 

The audiovisual creative coding system, seer, was created to empower the process of embodied worldmaking. Autobiographical design methods were used to grow the expressivity of the system to support the media artworks of this dissertation. The system enables expressive and rapid production of instruments and virtual ecologies intended for use in immersive installations and improvisational performance environments. Seer provides useful tools for designing audiovisual worlds for performance, as well as new methods for the iterative design of full-body interaction mappings and composition.

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