The Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium

Allan deSouza
“Avatar Syndrome: Past Imperative, Future Conditional”
DATE: 9/16/13

Avatar Syndrome has come to refer to the intense longings experienced by fans of the 2009 James Cameron film for the depicted planetary moon Pandora and its Na’vi humanoids. Fans report subsequent depression and even suicidal tendencies because, as one online post declared, “you know you can never actually go to Pandora, as it exists only in our imagination... sigh... :(”
Avatar represents a current apex of imaging technologies, even as it depicts a colonial fantasy of sublime nature and noble savages that is closer to that of the mythologized Pocahontas, whose 1614 marriage to John Rolfe was the first recorded inter-racial marriage in America.
This talk will consider deSouza’s own art and text works in relation to similar intersections of future-making technologies and past-reproducing fantasies, nostalgias for authenticity and disciplinary cross-contaminations.