Peter Duchemin

Virtual Magic: enchantment and illusionism in immersive media

Supervisors: Dr. Peter Trnka, Philosophy; Dr. David Bell, Religious Studies; Dr. Steve Crocker, Sociology.

Research: Is a media saturated society an enchanted society? This question is at the heart of Peter's project: an investigation into the contemporary media formation from an interdisciplinary perspective. Using a methodology anchored in the works of Gilles Deleuze (and supported by other thinkers, as appropriate), he will conduct what Sigfreid Zeilinsky calls "a magical approach toward technology", investigating the concept of mediation as enchantment in a social context in which technological extensions of hearing and seeing have become ubiquitous. This entails an investigation into illusions: those existing in the natural imagination, those propagated through language use, and those supported by technological means. Peter will show that in order to understand contemporary, media-immersed culture, it is crucial to understand magic as it has been developed in other ages, and how it is articulated in this one. He employs an approach to media and to magic that seeks to locate their technological and conceptual ancestors in order to demonstrate the close familial ties of these two ideas.

Discipline: Sociology, Philosophy, Religious Studies