Real Presences in Virtual Cinema

I refer to this ecologically situated narrativity as "meso-narrativity". (V.Morignat, 2005)

In The Invention of Morel, published in 1940, Adolfo Bioy Casares anticipates Virtual Reality, envisioning a post-technological island inhabited by holographic presences. 

In the novel, a fugitive escapes from police and swims to an island where he encounters strange characters who repeat, ad infinitum, the same dialogues and actions.  He discovers that these entities are residual three-dimensional images of persons who had existed in the past and had been synthesized by the machine of Dr. Morel.  Their avatars are eternally projected on the surface of the island via a holographic system that operates by harnessing the power of the tides. The fugitive falls in love with Faustina, one of the virtual beings, and realizing that he can only join her by integrating the Simulation, he decides to shot some images of himself with Dr. Morel's camera.  As he is being dematerialized and turned into an avatar, the man leaves a last note in his diary, expressing his hope for a future technology that will enable "disintegrated presences" to become conscious of one another and thus permit him to enter Faustina's mind.

Bioy Casares dreamed of a machine that could penetrate consciousness and record 'the thoughts and feelings of the transmitter'. The artificial ecosystem he describes — a collaborative narrative network characterized by the interconnection of machines, real and virtual agents and the natural environment — evokes the most recent developments in the domains of Interactive Cinema and Virtual Worlds where symbiotic relationships are being developed between human and artificial sensorialities.
Neural processing technologies detecting thoughts and emotions, along with the exponential growth of human and Artificial Intelligence (AI) interactions in Virtual Environments (VE), inspire new prospects for Cinema, virtual games and narrative arts.

Through the concept of 'Meso-narrativity', and of an ecologically situated cinema that I will call an 'Ecocinema', I will discuss the emergence of Interactive Cinema and collaborative fictions that will profoundly redesign our embodied experience.

Intersensorial Corporeity

Inspired by the vision of introducing the immediacy of thought to the human-machine interaction, Emotiv Systems, a company founded in 2003, developed 'Project Epoch' - a wireless interface 'evolving the interaction between human beings and electronic devices beyond the limits of conscious interface.' (

Focusing on human subjectivity, Emotiv Systems' artificial sensors permit real-time tracking of conscious thoughts and non-conscious emotions. Developed through applications of neuro-technology and brainwave recognition, 'Project Epoch' operates through the use of a headset, coupled with a processing unit able to tune in to three categories of signals : conscious thoughts, discreet emotional states and facial expressions.

>> Continue reading page 2