Home > Uncategorized > From a Slightly Alternate Perspective — Giving Dimensionality to the Perception of Perception

From a Slightly Alternate Perspective — Giving Dimensionality to the Perception of Perception

How is the self programmed? How do we come to build up our relationality to the world enabling us to make decisions and react appropriately? Could we make a technology that “points” at this process through a simple technological overlay or ‘programmed’ behavioral displacement? It was Turing who first talked about “input” and “output” organs [see Turing’s ACE Report of 1946 (Automatic Computing Engine) Turing 1986, p36, in Volume 10. B.E. Carpenter and R.W. Doran, eds The Charles Babbage Institute Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Cambridge/London:MIT Press pps. 21-124]. Very Nervous System achieves just that. By using the Rokeby’s system we potentially contemplate how our eyes help us to interact in concert with the history of our behavior, association and memory— how our perception gives us the clues to our next appropriate behavior in space. In my mind the authorship of the interface “Very Nervous System” represents a huge leap in terms of interface design bringing to light biomimetic sensing and related “authored” relationality to complex contextual construction. When I move in a particular context I employ my built-up understandings of similar but different contexts to enable me to “react” appropriately. We seek to “control” our body in an appropriate manner. There are many negative connotations to “control” and its relation to computation as we discussed. Yet, when it comes to the our use of interface to bring about chosen changes through interaction with a particular system, we seek out systems that can best enable us to “transparently” learn how to facilitate these interactions. Of course as critical artists we might choose to author systems that are “resistant” which enable us to point at this very notion. Displacement can illuminate placement… Yet, in a sense Rokeby does both – he both makes a form of displacement through his system which in turn enables us to look at our own actions in a relational manner—to learn how to use the system via trial and error, and then to maser the system as a volitional device, enabling us to explore it’s authored relationality to context [music construction and/or other authored relationality given other programmed uses of “Very Nervous System”] — the overlay of the programmed response to the space of the “historically” understood haptic behavior forms a subtle displacement – when I usually move my hand sound doesn’t come out of the speakers. Rokeby authors a new, superimposed, causal layer to experience, which points at the nature of embodied experience itself (in a subtle and rich manner). Perhaps this “experiential” understanding is stronger than any written description and thus this new form of computational authorship of input, authored functionality and sonic output, illuminates questions about our “selfhood,” and causal relationality to context, “better” than words might. Yet it does this in a manner that is not “overtly” obvious. We come to “observe” this difference that the technological overlay enables through playful interaction. The user learning curve is “transparent” in that we do not need to be told what to do — we instantly and pleasurably find it out for ourselves.

Varela,Thompson and Rosch in the Embodied Mind speak about mindful awareness.

Its purpose is to become mindful, to experience what one’s mind is doing as it does it, to be present with one’s mind. What relevance does this have to cognitive science? We believe that if cognitive science is to include human experience, it must have some method of exploring and knowing what human experience is (V.T.R. 1996, p23)

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