chapter  24
Modes of Digital Identification: Virtual Technologies and Webcam Cultures
Pages 11

For the Victorians, one of archeology's principal activities was displaying old structures and buried relics of the remote past. My research on immersive Virtual Reality (VR)l borrows from this understanding to incorporate histories of vision, space and light that address how "old structures and buried relics" are exhumed and embodied within the technology's logics of vision and sight. These "relics" include age-old metaphysical desires expressed in the belief that images allow access to "direct unmediated perception" and thus might allow us to "see what we mean"; an empiricist privileging of sight; and more recent cultural instruction, largely of corporate origin, that relentlessly encourages people to identify as commodities and images. These understandings, together with an accelerating shift towards an image culture supported by visual technologies, have significant implications for how subjectivity and self identity are reconceptualized and practiced.