…Worlding is a particular blending of the material and the semiotic that removes the boundaries between subject and environment, or perhaps between persona and topos. Worlding affords the opportunity for the cessation of habitual temporalities and modes of being.
The notion of 'worlding' arising from non-representational theory provides a useful lens through which process of human-non-human enmeshment can be considered. Kathleen Stewart (2012) provides a definition of worlding referring to the "affective nature" of the world in which "non-human agency" comprising of "forms, rhythms and refrains" (for example)reach a point of "expressivity" for an individual and develop a sense of "legibility". Through this process a particular 'world' emerges for the individual through their engagement with a number of interrelated phenomena.
-Helen Palmer and Vicky Hunter
Avatars are always of their own worlds. And these worlds exist within theory, physics, technology, faith, fantasy, and sexuality.
Defining ourselves in the foreground of a world is becoming an unreliable habit, as we accumulate selves on social media, dating sites, Games, The Metaverse, etc. And all of these selves are sustained by their own emotional and affective envoronments. And this is all subsumed in a construction that we also call a self. Which is awkward. But now that avatars are not just for gods, we have a process of incarnation through technonogical reification. Which is good bacause a complex belief system is a very ungainly thing to lug around.
Essentialism is unsustainable. It leads to stasis and worse, prejudice. We are composite beings. We always have been. ‘Who am I?’ is a question that leads to existential hell. 'Who am I?' sets up a figure/ground relationship to one's world.
My avatars, the ones that show up in my videos, are all artists; The Fish is a musical performer, The Metal Fish is an actress, Anna Kavan is an actual writer whose work fascinates me, The Revolutionary is a lecturer, The Beta Fish are enacting and reenacting a musical love story, and The Gold Chauffeur does what all artists do, takes you places
Like most avatars, they contain elements of what I desire to appear as. But they also exhibit anxieties, frustrations, and cruelties.
When I paint my avatars, I am making thier portraits. When I paint lens flares and vectors, I am painting their landscape. When I paint psychedelic sunsets and oceans, I am painting their environments.
When they speak, I write their words, but I write their words as them. And I send them out into worlds that I create, but that also suit them.
In 1908, The New York Times published a book review on a work by the Irish scientist E. E. Fournier d'Albe title World Within World. In it he describes Infra-Worlds.
Now, if we were small enough to live on an electron as we now do on earth, we should measure all things by comparing them with our selves or with our electron, and we would measure time by the revolution of our electron or its revolution around the central atom. The ratio of the period of the earth's revolution about the sun and the ratio of the electron's revolution about its atom is substantially the same ratio of the diameters. Hence, in the Infra-World,' space and time are reduced in the same proportion.
It is this curious curcumstance which justifies the word 'infra-world.' It shows that the world in which an electron is equivalent to the earth is a real microcosm, a 'visible universe' on an almost inconcievably small scale, but still a universe where conditions greatly resemble our own.
Each Avatar is embedded in its Lifeworld, as we are in ours, and thus an avatar is double embedded. The Lifeworld is a term penned by the German phenomenologist Edmund Husserl. The life world is a horizon line of experience. An intersubjective space. The Lifeworld is not uncovered by consciousness. It is always already there.
In whatever way we may be conscious of the world as universal horizon, as coherent universe of existing objects, we, each "I-the-man" and all of us together, belong to the world as living with one another in the world; and the world is our world, valid for our consciousness as existing precisely through this 'living together.' We, as living in wakeful world-consciousness, are constantly active on the basis of our passive having of the world... Obviously this is true not only for me, the individual ego; rather we, in living together, have the world pre-given in this together, belong, the world as world for all, pre-given with this ontic meaning... The we-subjectivity... [is] constantly functioning.
-Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of the European Sciences