The Polyphonous Avatar

Royce Ng and Alvaro Cassinelli

This artwork is concerned with the notion of presence conveyed through physical absence, and the minimal threshold of technological simulation that can produce the feeling of the performers’s presence in the space for the audience. It consists of a system created in the game engine Unity which allows users to speaker through multiple online personas via a single avatar. The system can be used in conjunction with zoom or other telepresence technologies to provide anonymity and multiple personality avatars to converse through. This version of the work features a dialogue conducted between Dr. Alvaro Cassinelli from the Augmented Materiality Lab at the School of Creative Media, Hong Kong and his PhD student Royce Ng on the topics of presence, virtual qualia, black box technologies and ways of breaking free from technological determination, presented through the morphing visage of a single avatar.

The work was commissioned by Kampnagel – Internationales Zentrum für schönere Künste in Hamburb Germany and can be viewed here.

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