playing with dolls

Playing with Dolls is a series of 3D-designed and -printed objects, including remixes of plastic miniatures that already populate the cultural imaginary, like army men, chess pieces, and other miniature, simulated space similar to that of a doll house.

Playing with Dolls explores the generative value of what can be learned about materiality, identity, embodiment, spatiality, and world-building through both making and interacting with these figures in both real and virtual space. My research questions are: 1) what can be learned about gender, sexuality, and identity if we put 3D-printed plastic dolls at the center?; 2) what is computational queerness in relation to 3D design and animation?; 3) how do computational processes operate on and reproduce hegemonic ideologies of sex, gender, race, and ability?; and 4) what is the scholarly and social significance of remaking popular children’s toys, such as the “army man” figurine?


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The figurines, objects, and dioramas operate together as a performance/scholarly presentation in which DB narrates the process of playing with the dolls. This presentation was part of a panel entitled, “Queer Remix as Worldbuilding,” at the 2018 R-CADE Symposium.

Frances Glessner Lee + Barbie Liberation Organization

Coming soon: VRing with Dolls (or, how miniature, plastic figurines travel from your hand to a virtual space strapped to your head)

VR stare

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