Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] simulation

Hello there!

> the artist Luis Miguel Girão, perhaps you saw his talk in Munich? :-)

no, i missed it! but i've been reading a lot about it.

and, answering from the bottom, up:

> As artists, if we want to move beyond representations and
> more towards analogue experiences of emotion, a blinking
> warm coloured LED, movement or temperature change on
> the body just does not do the trick in a visceral way... it can
> mostly only enhance and STimulate emotional experience,
> we might want to look into technologies such as
> Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) being integrated in
> artprojects, research that is being explored by

Yes, this is quite correct. And the possibility to hook onto the mechanisms
of the body, extending, morphing, simulating and, in general, building and
simulating on it are all things that fascinate me and that i've also tried
in several occasions: I once did a project that was called "ChakraPuter" in
which a computer and a human electrically joined forces into the search for
Kundalini :) The computer's "body" was interpreted in terms of chakras and
it was connected to the body of a yoga master, and they mutually stimulated
each other until opening up the "fountain". It was, obviously, a "best
effort" interpretation of the conditions of both performers, mixing science
and mysticism, sensors, physiology, neurology and creativity. And, in a
more rigorous and scientific way, the stimulations on the dancer's body of
the Talker Performance ( it has many of the same principles of the OneAvatar
project i wrote about in the last email, you can find it here:
http://www.artisopensource.net/2006/12/21/talkers-performance/ ) were
configured to truly interact with the dance, creating movements that were
"outsourced" to the audience.

But I am also interested in externalizing. We already have several
additional senses externalized in digital devices. And we feel their
influence in ways that are subtle yet powerful. Just think about when your
mobile phone does not connect to the network: you move, you walk around
until you catch the network signal; you are experiencing in a very natural
way an additional sense that is externalized on a device, a new sense that
is sensible to electromagnetism. And it is a true sense (you act quite
naturally and istinctively while body-browsing for signals), only it is
externalized outside of your physical body, on a device. But the experience
is not less powerful or significative.

This is a thing that interests me a lot. It can and does happen with several
digital technologies and devices. It happens a lot in cases such as in
Pattie Maes' Sixth Sense, where true layers are added not only to the world
around you, but also on your sensibility.

This enacts a two-way simulation, resulting in experience:
simulation-for-evaluation, simulation-for-activation. On one side you test,
on the other side you feel. It's basic interaction design (the
sensor-comparator-actuator scheme), but applied to an interconnection of
layers that are on and around your body.

In this sense the two-directional themes of simulation and representations
can join forces in a very valuable form. And cultural and social domains
join in the dance as well as neurons and sensors.

and, in fact:

> I would like to refer you to the theories of Semir Zeki, a neuro scientist
> that claims the artist is an intuitive neuro-
> scientist. As the artist creates, they are constantly testing the
> of their own brain. In a sense they thus simulate
> the responses of other brains, the viewer.

... this is perfect and limited at the same time. Perfect in its fundamental
simpleness. Limited in the way in which it, in some way, elevates single
individualities as "tools" that in some ways resonate with societies and
cultures, letting them be used as instuments of a sort.
While i am flattered by this :) (i am an artist after all), i must say that
i find more interesting for what i do the approaches of people like Dacher
Keltner whose perspectives on social interactions and complexities define a
continuous state of negotiation that is very beautiful to observe and fiddle
with. It allows you to move in a very rigorous, formal way in the worlds of
embarassement, love, awe and fear, transcending the self, observing fluid
networks. This continuous state of negotiation is, too, based on various
forms of multidirectional simulations: the ones we constanty use to evaluate
our social placement and our relationships with others; the ones we use to
plan, consciously and subconsciously, our forms of self expression; the ones
we use to envision parallel time/space-lines describing desire and
ambitions; the ones we use to infer the worst/best case scenarios about
which we are constantly worried about; the ones we use to interact with what
we don't know, not only technically but also for very profund conditions
such as the ones related to interculturality, disability or disease.

>From this point of view the idea to externalize sensorialities (and the
simulations/interactions/representations that go with them), and to
explicitly research them into a social sphere is something that intrigues me
a lot.

Yasmin_discussions mailing list

Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").

HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.