Sunday, January 24, 2010

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Simulation, remediation

Simon writes:
"It is possible to argue that the thing being experienced and that experiencing are part of the same thing; that existence is found in the interaction between things".
I think this leads us to rethink the status of representation in accordance with the "scientific" idea that the observer and the observed are part of the same phenomenon. A very interesting perspective, and surely an antirelativistic one, is that offered by Karen Barad in her book "Meeting the Universe Halfway. Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning", whose key concepts can also be found in her previously publsihed short essay "Posthumanist Performativity: How Matter Comes to Matter" (Signs, vol. 28, n. 3, 2003, pp. 801-831). Here, she develops the notion of "agential realism" drawing on a critique of Bohr's physics, which I find very fruitful for those working in between the artistic and the scientific field (like me, on a theoretical level). Barad shifts from a representationalist perspective to a performativist one (and here is where feminist theory gives a great contribution), one which attributes performativity to matter, and at the same time propose!
s an anti-representational form of realism.
Here, "relations do not follows relata", in Barad's words, but mattering is itself a differentiating process (which also means that differences are not pre-given). Barad's theory is very complex and fascinating, and I do not want to enter into much detail here, but I firmly believe that her idea of agential realism allows to reconceive the intra-actions between humans (post-human in Barad's sense), non-humans, and the environments they live in so as to abandon any metaphysics of purity or essential truth ( as well as of immediacy), without nonetheless abandoning the possibility of objectivity.

Jennifer, about "Avatar": personally, the level of hypermediacy it carries with it all the time made me have a filmic experience of total detachment. Every second, I was so totally aware of its excess of mediation, that I was never emotionally involved. Maybe, an alternance of hypermediacy and immediacy would have catched me a little bit more.

Pier Luigi: incidentally, the van de Vall's article I was mentioning in my previous post talks about Cronberg's ExistenZ too...


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