You are here:

InquirySpace: An immersive document in the style of the ‘opera reductio’

, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States

University of California, Santa Barbara . Awarded


This work integrates hypertext, sound synthesis and immersive technology. Its purpose is to explore the potential of immersive technology in its aspect as a language machine, as a simulator of the physical components of inquiry—a unified field of visual, textual, and auditory symbology. The concept of ‘presence’ provides a bridge between a veridicality which is normally sought in virtual environment (VR) applications and that which is also sought in poetic practice—namely the presence of a ‘subject’ who is bodily immersed in the physical aspects of language: sound, rhythm, and its visual aspects when written or projected.

InquirySpace experiments with the ‘practice’ of textwork as conceived by Julia Kristeva in Revolution of Poetic Language. This new dynamic theory of poetic language is situated within the realm of biology, psychoanalysis, epistemology, and the ‘sciences’ of signification. Its aim is the discovery of new signifying ‘devices’ to align human drives to their goals. The devices conceived in the midst of this dissertation were several: an emphasis on the experience of knowing—a narrative of the subject-in-process; the re-metaphorizing of VR as an ‘immersive document’—deconstructing basic assumptions regarding this medium; the framing of the dissertation as an opera (philosophical theater)—widening the scope of functional theory into the realm of the poetic; the extension of Kristeva's concept of textwork to that of ‘mediawork;’ finding in the concept of mediawork a methodological practice around which to organize teaching, curriculum, and a discourse of media arts; and finally, the production of a novel artifact demanded by a unique interdisciplinary program of study.*

*The dissertation includes a CD that is compound (contains both a paper copy and a CD as part of the dissertation). The CD requires the following applications: G4 Macintosh: SuperCollider (SCPLAY); Pentium: 500 mhz-Python Version 1.5; VRUT-Version 2.2; Internet Explorer 4.5; 15-300 Intersense Orientation; nVision Head Mounted Display; QuickTime movie player.


Fields, K. InquirySpace: An immersive document in the style of the ‘opera reductio’. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved August 4, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or