TELEPRESENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE

A study of portrayals of presence

Surrogates

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ABOUT THE WORK

MEDIUM:

Film 

YEAR:

2009 

WRITER(S):

Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato(screenplay) Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele(graphic novel) 

OWN COPY?

Yes 
 

ABOUT THE STORY

SUMMARY:

People are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic surrogates -- sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. It's an ideal world where crime, pain, fear and consequences don't exist. When the first murder in years jolts this utopia, FBI agent Greer discovers a vast conspiracy behind the surrogate phenomenon and must abandon his own surrogate, risking his life to unravel the mystery. Written by Touchstone Pictures imdb.com 

ERA/YEAR:

Near future 

CHARACTERISTICS
OF WORLD:

robots, laser weapons 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE-EVOKING TECHNOLOGY
NAME:
surrogates, units 
DESCRIPTION:
The indvidual is hooked up to a stem chair where they're able to control their unit. The user is able to control their surrogate while sitting at home. The users of the surrogates are so immerse in the technology that they feel no need to leave the house. 
NATURE OF TASK OR ACTIVITY:
everyday activities 
PERFORMANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
The technology is supposed to eliminate crime but the technology fails when someone is murdered. 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
DESCRIPTION:
older male. Father/creator of surrogates Lionel Canter 
MAJOR GOAL(S):
To elimnate crime, disease, and discrimination 
 
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE PRESENCE
DESCRIPTION:
people of all races, genders, and ages use the surrogates/units. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE EXPERIENCE
TYPE(S) OF PRESENCE:
Both spatial and social presence 
DESCRIPTION:
The user of the surrogates is able to experience everything the surrogates experience by just simply signing on. 
USER AWARENESS:
Although the users are aware that they are using the surrogates they didn't know how much they depended on them until Agent Tom Greer disabled all the surrogates at the end. 
VALENCE:
The users of these surrogates enjoy the presence because it allows them to be whoever they want. 
SPECIFIC RESPONSES:
Some of the users appeared to enjoy the use of the surrogates because it allowed them to escape from social judgement. 
 
ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRESENCE
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES:
The story ends with agent Greer disabling the surrogates because the surrogates were no longer safe. 
 
AND FINALLY...
OTHER INFORMATION:
 
CODER NAME:
Noelle Allen 
CODER E-MAIL:
tua56839@temple.edu 
CODER AFFILIATION:
Temple University 
DATE CODED:
5/2/2010 

 


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