Saturday, February 27, 2010

AML Session: Gideon Burton

Gideon Burton: Avatars for Latter-day Expression



Avatar: manifestations of higher forms, Hindu gods

Have made way into online culture. FB, Second Life, etc. Avatars have moved into the mainstream. Adults are avatar-ing now.

Defers to David A. Bednar's remarks on the body and the digital world.

Of course: Avatar comes up. (GB seen it six times in theaters.) Generates real interest in what it means to be embodied beings. Takes us more closely into understanding how the body mediates our experience in the world. Pro. allowed a fuller range of being through the avatar.

In Mormon Doctrine, as if our bodies are the avatars for our spirits. Allowing us to transcend certain limits.

In Avatar: There is joyousness to the body. Learns to tame the body. Jake: I'm learning to enjoy my body. (Reading Avatar through the lens of Mormon experience.)

Mormons: temporarily embodied to the end of permanent embodiment. Our glory: that by which our bodies are quickened.

Challenge of this life: learning to deal with the temporal/corporeal demands of relationships.

Personal body => social body. Formation of identity.

Avatar; Richness of Pandora lays not in it's ore, but in it's connections. A people at once corporeal and spiritual. Jake's body becomes a mode of existence. A station on the way to a more exalted station, to full authenticity.

Perhaps this life is the ultimate avatar state. Our technologies can best be used to help us into higher understandings of ourselves.

When and how must our experience be mediated, unmediated, or re-mediated?

If we don't take the leap into new media, we may miss something of our embodied experience.

(Notes taken during the session.)

- Tyler-at-large: chasing clouds, blogging live