Space, Place and Time on the Net.

Forum organized by Bjørn Sørensen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
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Abstract: Net usage abounds in spatial and temporal metaphors, reflecting a preoccupation with how we sense that space, place and time simultaneously are perceived as analogous with and differentiated from our "real world" perception of these fundamental concepts. The present panel aims to discuss different approaches to this complex problem.

Panel participants:

Bjørn Sørensen: "Cyberspace as practised place." The phenomenologically inspired French philosopher Michel de Certeau defines "space" as "practiced place" - making the two concepts interdependable and explaining how we perceive space as a temporal trajectory of places. The paper will discuss some further aspects of applying this concept to web communication, especially drawing on new forms of digital representation.

Anita Hammer: "Mythology of Place As Ritual Premises for Digital interaction." Departing from the area of myth and ritual studies, in this paper I will explore some spatial images belonging to and constituting places on the net where simultaneous human interaction takes place. The point of departure is that of viewing places, rooms and physical objects described in Moo "rooms" and "interactive worlds" as analogous to places in the physical world. In addition they will be viewed as also analogous to worlds of myth.

It will be argued that whether appearing through textual(MOO) descriptions or through visual representation, the spatialization of contents appearing on the net can be seen as a contradiction to the media presenting itself as independent of place.

By exploring contents of various spatial metaphors I will attempt to show the most common and typical manifestations of place-metaphor. These contents will be viewed as expression of collective mythologies, created by and through human interaction in virtual space.

Ragnhild Tronstad: "The World of the Text: Time, Space and Experience." With reference to MUDs I will talk about how the temporal activity of reading creates a spatial experience of being and acting within a world. Even though the text as a whole may consist of an unknown number of multi-linear narratives, the world of the text depends on the actual experience of reading (parts of) it. Exploring the text will expand the world of the text, and interacting with it will provide the MUD character with a history, which is important for the appropriation of a character identity.

Troels Degn Johansson: "Cybergeographic Images." Abstract not available.

About the Presenters:

Bjørn Sørensen Dr.philos.,Professor of Film Studies at the Department of Art and Media Studies at the University of Trondheim, Norway.

Anita Hammer Cand.Philol, Ph.D.-scholar Theatre Studies, Dept. of Art and Media Studies, University of Trondheim, Norway.

Ragnhild Tronstad Cand Philol. Theatre Studies, Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway. Working on a Doctoral Dissertation on MUDs as theatre.

Troels Degn Johansson Ph.D. Scholar, M.A., cand.mag. Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute Ministry of Environment and Energy.