TELEPRESENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE

A study of portrayals of presence

Teknolust

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ABOUT THE WORK

MEDIUM:

Film 

YEAR:

2002 

WRITER(S):

Lynn Hershman-Leeson 

OWN COPY?

No 
 

ABOUT THE STORY

SUMMARY:

from imdb.com Anxious to use artificial life to improve the world, Rosetta Stone, (Tilda Swinton), a bio-geneticist creates a Recipe for Cyborgs and uses her own DNA in order to breed three Self Replicating Automatons, part human, part computer named Ruby, Olive and Marine (also played by Tilda Swinton). The SRA's act as 'portals' on the internet, helping users to fulfill their dreams. The SRA's are nourished through touch. Because they were bred only with Rosetta's DNA, they need the balance of an X chromo or male sperm to survive. Rosetta projects seduction scenes from movie clips onto Ruby, which absorbs as she sleeps. The SRA'S can not distinguish dreams from reality. Ruby acts out these scenes in real life with the men and shares her spoils with her sisters. However, Ruby's encounters suffer from impotence and unexplained rashes. Fearing a bio-gender war, the FBI sends in Agent Edward Hopper to solve the mystery. Puzzled, he turns for help from a private cyber detective. The men recover. Ruby falls in love and becomes impregnated by Sandy, a xerox shop worker. The characters struggle to find love in a world that no longer needs sex to reproduce, a world that is changing and is populated with people who use provisional identities and are seen through virtual selves and a world where love is the only thing that makes things real. Written by Bundy Chanock {bundy@medics.com} 

ERA/YEAR:

Present day when produced 

CHARACTERISTICS
OF WORLD:

Present day 2002 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE-EVOKING TECHNOLOGY
NAME:
Self Replicating Automatons 
DESCRIPTION:
Self Replicating Automatons are created by a scientitist. She has discorvered the recipe for atificial intelligence. Using her DNA, she creates cyborgs in her image, half machine and half human. They walk and talk, and interact as if human. 1 of them roams the real world, while the other 2 live in virtual reality, an online portal. Ruby can easily move between the two worlds. At first, hey act docile, following orders, but as they grow autonomous, they begin to rebel. Because they were created with female DNA, they need male choromosomes to survive, which Ruby obtains in sexual encounters with men. 
NATURE OF TASK OR ACTIVITY:
People interact with Ruby as if she was totally human, in real life. Online, they interact with her as if she was a machine. She operates a web portal dealing in fantasy and dreams. 
PERFORMANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
Works well, but the encounters with men give the men unintended side effects, rashes and impotence. 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
DESCRIPTION:
Dr. Rosetta Stone, a computer scientist in her 30s, longing for friends, love, and family. Her own family was killed 25 years previously by an errant virus.  
MAJOR GOAL(S):
To better the world through artificial intelliegence. 
 
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE PRESENCE
DESCRIPTION:
Many men interact with Ruby - all ages and races. Otherwise, they mostly interact with Dr. Stone. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE EXPERIENCE
TYPE(S) OF PRESENCE:
Social presence 
DESCRIPTION:
For the men, it is exciting and fun. Until they develop side effects. For Dr. Stone, it is rewarding but tiresome - she feels like their mother. 
USER AWARENESS:
Ruby, Marinne and Olive are aware of what they are, but other people are not. 
VALENCE:
generally, they enjoy it. 
SPECIFIC RESPONSES:
physiological arousal, enjoyment, involvement, persuasion, distorted memory and social judgments, intense parasocial relationships 
 
ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRESENCE
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES:
Ruby falls in love, as does Dr. Stone. Ruby maintains her portal, but does not need to go online. The other two, Marinne and Olive, simply fade away, happy for the others. 
 
AND FINALLY...
OTHER INFORMATION:
 
CODER NAME:
Amanda Scheiner 
CODER E-MAIL:
amandags@temple.edu 
CODER AFFILIATION:
Temple University 
DATE CODED:
5/30/2007 

 


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