NONLOCALITY AND EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES: A STUDY OF GENIUS, RELIGIOUS EPIPHANY, AND THE PSYCHIC
Stephan A. Schwartz
Two hundred years of reductive materialism has failed to explainthe extraordinary experiences we know as moments ofgenius, religious epiphany, and psychic insight. This paper proposesthat these three experiences are in essence the same experience,differentiated only by intention and context. It reachesthis conclusion based on well-conducted experimental researchacross the continuum of science—work that proposes a new interdependentmodel of consciousness that takes into considerationa nonlocal linkage or entanglement, as an aspect of consciousnessnot limited by space and time. The paper surveyssome of the most important relevant research from quantumbiology, physics, psychology, medicine, anthropology, andparapsychology. It proposes that more attention should be paidto the autobiographies, correspondence, and journals of menand women to whom history unequivocally accords the designationof genius, saint, or psychic, offering examples from thesesources. And it presents comparisons between ethnohistoricalmaterial and spiritual traditions, suggesting they arrive at a similarworldview. Finally, it proposes that meditation research,some examples of which are cited, be seen in the context of psychophysical self-regulation, and that it offers one powerfulavenue for producing these exceptional experiences.
(Explore 2010; 6:227-236. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)
Art practice and Art research, an experimental aproach
Marta de Menezes
Appropriations, Intersections, Approximations, Collaborations, Confrontations: Biology as a New Art Medium
My work explores the possibilities modern biology offers to artists. Thus, I have been developing the use of biology and biotechnology as new art media, conducting my practice in research laboratories that are my art studio. I have been trying not only to portrait the recent advances of biological sciences, but to incorporate biological material as a way to convey an artistic discourse not possible with a different medium: DNA, proteins and cells offer an opportunity to explore novel ways of representation and communication.
Robotic Art: a new kind of abstraction
Leonel Moura / Henrique Garcia Pereira
Autonomous robots can produce a new kind of abstraction based on emergent behavior.Such an abstract art is pure creativity and cannot be inscribed in any of the historical trendsof abstractionism. It is the result of an artificial life organism engaged in its own existence.
Kairos - Deep Time Consciousness
Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta
The concept of "deep time" was of essential importance for the ancient Sumerian world. It passed to the Greeks in the word "kairos". Kairos - Deep Time Consciousness - is a metalanguage process and collective experience based on the word distribution in the cyberspace and on the metamorphosis of the archaic concept of human expansion. A website with introductory notes about this lecture will be online five days before the event at http://www.emanuelpimenta.net/KDTC.html
Understanding mindfulness and embodiment in their relation to representation
Interactive and immersive synthetic experiences design or utilize the sense of embodiment of the person experiencing it. At the same time, one could say that the ideal state of the person is that of mindful attention. How are mindfulness and embodiment part of an experience? Varela, Thompson and Rosh state that mindfulness is fundamental as a method where the mind is present in it. By embodiment, they mean "reflection in which body and mind have been brought together." The opposite of embodiment, as philosopher Thomas Nagel puts it, is a "view from nowhere." (Varela, 1991: Ch.2) Regarding mindfulness, in his paper "Virtual Reality for Animals" John Waterworth points out we are seldom in the present (Waterworth, 1996): animals are a better choice for experiencing these experiences. On the other hand, the practice of mindfulness in Buddhist traditions seeks to be in the present integrating more sophisticated "embodied mind" mental processes.
Experiencing Data in the Web of Matter: a sensorial order based on new subjectivities in the intersection of art and media
Cristina Miranda de Almeida
The frontiers of research nowadays need to address the issue of interactive-immersive experience taking into consideration some special global trends that are producing a deep impact in human experience and in the definition of the subject in digital culture. It is possible that the confluence of various technological changes (Internet of Things, web 2.0, web 3.0, social ubiquitous networks, social mobile media, augmented and diminished technologies, quantum computing, cloud computing and actants network) is transforming digital culture into a qubit culture and offering new forms of data experience to society of knowledge. The thesis is that digital culture could be being transformed into a smart digital culture, a kind of framework which features are not the same as those that characterize traditional phenomena in digital culture. The objective is to construct an analysis framework to understand the emergent model of experience that is impacting the subject's experience in digital culture. In order to construct that framework, this research is grounded in the intersection of art, media and experience. The reason for centrering the point of view of the analysis in the field of art is due to the fact that art is a critical field from which to understand human perceptive experience through media because art is a kind of "meta-language of media", a kind of subversive dimension of the mediatic determinacy. Art subvert and invert the program and machine's functions (Machado, 2010). The role of art in relation to media highlights that tools are not neutral but are historically charged with concepts linked to production conditions. Art has the capacity of either being immersed in the technological context and being critical towards it. Art is a sphere from which to explore different perceptive and cognitive practices that materialize in the recurring interest in multi-sensorial and critical strategies present in experiences with technology. The main dimensions to be analysed in the paper will relate to the confluence of (1) the merging of digital and analogical forms of experience; (2) new actors and forms of interaction; (3) forms of heterogenous knowledge construction; (4) lively interfaces and animated environments and (5) biotechnological convergence. The paper will show how the outcome of this confluence is taking shape in different forms of (1) indexation; (2) simulation; (3) traduction of matter into date and (4) ubiquituous hybrid networks (social + matter/nature). The paper will contribute to understand how experience is forged in the presence of the Web of Matter offering society a critical and creative way to deal with the process in which the electronic and physical dimensions of reality are merging and awareness about the paradigm change that the Web of Matter is bringing to our experience. In special, it can contribute to develop a new cognitive paradigm that challenges the current view that objects, environments are inanimate and offer a new framework from which to consider interaction between people, things and environments in society of knowledge. This framework offers insights to educative, technological developments and cultural programs to integrate actants and citizens in the web of matter.
Consciousness, life and the potential of an endobiological evolution
Kathrine Elizabeth Anker
Living in the mindfield means to live in a world where matter is moved into formation and held together by mind. This can be related to Aristotle's idea of in-formation – where mind is the first cause of matter. Living in the mindfield also means being vulnerable to evolution. This can be related to Charles Sanders Peirce's philosophical concept "phaneroscopy", according to which "feeling" is firstness and equal to "mind", and the triad relation of firstness (feeling as pure potentiality), secondness (habits and regularities) and thirdness (interpretation) show evolutionary properties and goal directedness. As seen in this light, I will point to what I regard as a central quality that could characterize mind expressing itself in living matter: "motion". I will keep a focus on the nano scale of the organism, and from there relate "motion" to communication processes in the bodymind, and to the phenomenon of consciousness, with an emphasis on the relationship between quantum connectivity and molecular processes. My approach will rely upon theories of biosemiotics mainly by Yair Neuman and Thure von Uexküll, and cybersemiotics by Søren Brier (2008), which I further relate to the biophysical approach to consciousness presented by Mae Wan Ho (2005) and James Oschman (2005). I further refer to technoetic arts as an area that increasingly expresses the theme of nano scale communication at the cultural level. In this line of thought, based primarily on processes of internal semiosis, I will present the hypothesis of an "endobiological evolution".
Bisociative Ludos: The Wondrous Tales of Eupalinos Ugajin and Naxos Loon
This text proposes to examine the virtual lives and creative activities of two metaverse avatars, Eupalinos Ugajin and Naxos Loon, by examining the correlations between their acts of creation and the notion of 'play'. These will be examined against the backgrounds of Arthur Koestler's book "The Act of Creation" and Johan Huizinga's "Home Ludens"; involving a scrutiny on how these may apply to a strand of art making involving three dimensionally embodied avatars, which can be observed in online virtual worlds today
Catalysing Network Consciousness in Leaderless Groups: a metadesign tool
John Backwell / John Wood
This paper refers to one of a number of metadesign methods that were developed to facilitate non-hierarchical teams. It describes how a matrix framework was used to help teams to create, maintain and develop their self-identity. The primary aim is to increase what the authors call 'network consciousness' (Backwell & Wood, 2009), in which consciousness is described as a 'low-grade system for keeping records' (Minsky, in Horgan, 1993). This concept may be controversial as it embodies a digital, therefore, coarse-grained methodology for mapping (shared) consciousness. Also, by depicting animate and inanimate entities as agencies that are dynamic and equal in status and by emphasizing relations rather than players, we aim to develop an emancipatory approach that transcends the dualistic mindset. Using this digital approach, data about all relations and their interdependencies are recorded as a set of signature 'profiles'. These are then aggregated as a macroscopic snapshot of the whole system. Its fractal nature makes it easier for the team to envisage what might happen if their environment were to be scaled-up, or down. It thus renders the system suitable for attracting implicit consensus within a given team. Furthermore, it inherently considers impact upon that beyond the remit of the team and, thereby, 'seeding' new and coherent behaviour without the need for top-down management.
The status of the self in face of intelligent machines: an analysis of the interactive installation Sophie
Cesar Baio / Walmeri Ribeiro
This paper presents a reflection on the project of the interactive installation Sophie, produced by Cesar Baio and Walmeri Ribeiro and in 2010, from a critical and theoretical approach from the artists themselves about their work. The contemporary media technologies not only expanded the boundaries of interpersonal communication, but also reformulated the communication between man and machine. The current computational agents can establish direct communication with us in first person. These computational entities can be viruses, spyware, bots or software agents which "assist" us in an increasing number of tasks. More than capture our images and store all kinds of personal information, these complex artificial intelligence software entities process the data collected to create true "interpreters" of our actions, our gestures, our body, thus becoming able to interpellate each of us individually. These media technologies put ethical and aesthetic issues in the relationship between subject and machine. How to deal with machines that can recognize a specific individual, learn about their emotions, desires, fears and intentions from your body and your behavior? What can emerging if instead of programing these machines for surveillance, to determine the profile of consumption, or for advertising, we tried to establish relations affective and unique to each person individually? What is the aesthetic potential of current technologies to create "affective machines" capable of operating in a unique way with each person, as the dream of Isaac Asimov? Given these issues, the interactive installation Sophie proposes a poetic and critical approach to understand the technologies of automatic identification and classification of people by imaging, especially those enabled by the current computer vision systems. Upon entering the gallery, each participant is classified according to their appearance (color of clothes) and behavior (approach speed, number of interactions, time spent in front of the work). This information is evaluated based on subjective values (in accordance with the "personal taste" of the artists themselves). In this way, Sophie is a character that likes some people more than others, creating an affective connection with each person individually. Sophie was conceived how a "performance-based Installation" that mixes interactive interfaces, video installation and performance. The piece consists of a character that is capable of interacting with each visitor in a different manner, according to a personal identification level, a memory of past experiences, and, specially, each visitor's performance towards the piece. Using the recorded performance of an actress, made with techniques based on action generating stimuli, many short video sequences are created, and they are edited in real time by a custom algorithm. From this interactive installation, this paper focuses on some tensions established between technology, subjectivity, body and image. The multidisciplinary approach from the theories of the image (Vilém Flusser) Performance Art (Renato Cohen, Erika Fischer-Lichte) and actor (Antonin Artaud), will discuss topics such as relationships established between the subject and the technical device, identification between machine and human been, presence and affect, so discussing the system of meaning involved in the work.
From Shared Presence to Hybrid Identity
Daniel Bisig / Tatsuo Unemi
Artists can draw inspiration and techniques from the synthetic natural sciences in order to realize interactive works that exhibit autonomous and life-like behaviors. If the activities of the artwork and the human participant are connected via the same physical, perceptual and behavioral space, a situation of shared presence arises. Depending on the degree of proximity, intimacy and mutual dependency between artwork and participant, their respective identities increasingly overlap, up to a point when they merge into a single hybrid identity. The authors of this article have realized several computer based works for interactive installations and dance performances that experiment with these shifting phenomena of presence and identity. This article presents these artworks and describes the conceptual background and motivation that underlies their realization.
Soul Connection: Lovers, gods and families in African based Media Art
An exploration of mobile and remote media use in Africa through a handful of reflective technology art projects. As Baudrillard implied, the greatest impact of modernity is on the everyday; which is followed by a change in culture. When a new means and rate of communication is introduced into an already existing social structure, how is it initially used and interpreted into a culture before it shifts and changes that culture.
I explore studies on the widespread adoption and social impact of mobile media in Africa. I then use these to reflect on four art media art projects that engage remote connection within particular cultural spheres in Africa.
Much like early Internet art and communications media art in Europe and America in the mid 1990’s; these works are both a material acknowledgement of the technology as well as an investigation into the unknown and potentially mystical qualities of the new form. I additionally therefore, comparatively address the African works and earlier Western explorations of the same kind. In doing so we can understand the similarities and differences in the personal mythologies and social structures that stand outside of a homogenizing Global form.
Visualization Processes of the Invisible in Scientific Practice - Virtually Simulated Epistemic Structures in Space
Do epistemic structures of digital visualization help to better grasp the hidden richness of reality or are they rather tools which just produce an artificial imagination including the loss of reference to reality? There are suspicions that the new development of digital visualization techniques are changing continuously our perception of reality, our understanding, mind work and therefore our knowledge – altering our perspective of the world around us and our identification with it. Therefore it is no wonder that critics (like Baudrillard 2000, Kitler 2002, Stiegler 2004) are more than worried about the increasing digital development of visualization and the resulting consequences on our world. (Grau, 2003) They only see the analog photography as the last existing reference to reality. Since analog photography in comparison to digital photography becomes extinct, in their eyes the last living and real referencing technique will vanish and give way to a growing and outspreading virtualization – a synthetic and artificial takeover of reality. This discussion oversees, as Jens Schröter states, the rational problem of the dichotomy between reality and manipulation. Since digital and analog photography are based on the same scanning process of light falling from the object onto a sensor, the principle stays the same: either chemistry or quantum electronics, both techniques have a real reference. Only the manipulation of analog or digital photography makes a difference which is possible in both cases. (Jens Schröter) But what happens with the real reference inside simulated virtual worlds out of transformed information data? The interest of the author is especially the epistemic potential of digital visualization in the scientific practice and in the production of knowledge and finally in knowledge transfer. The question is therefore what digital visualization and virtual reality can do for the perception of reality and knowledge. It will be looked into mixed visualization processes combining for instance textures of real photography with information data inside simulated virtual space. The ability of operation and the experiment inside simulated virtual environments will be examined. The influence of the virtual and the immateriality in the resulting knowledge will be investigated as well as the feared vanishing of reality and reference. With the gained results it will be looked into the potential of knowledge transfer through new digital visualization technologies.
Augmented heritage: the aim of museums between virtual reality and social media
Experiments in Augmented Reality (AR) have gone beyond being a sideline in Virtual Reality thanks to the success of mobile devices that allow visitors to discover more ways of connecting with the artefacts on display in museums. Several different AR journeys were available at this year's Venice Biennale, as is the case for an increasing number of museums, such as MOMA and the British Museum among others. At the same time, museums have discovered Twitter and other new, fun means for communicating with visitors, through an enhanced awareness of the role and the potential of Museums as catalysts of experience, social awareness and citizenship. The focus of this paper is to create a specific definition of AR for museums so as to enhance understanding of AR in the present context of museum communication mediascapes along with the construction of ideal pathways to locate AR experimentation within a more comprehensive picture, describing the technological tools required in order to enhance the primary aim of museums, that is to communicate their heritage.
The Unperceived User. User Perception in Flexible Architecture and the Ubiquitous House
With this paper I would like to point out how the architect's perception of the user has changed over time in flexible architecture and illustrate where I see parallels between the evolution of user perception in architecture and how the user is perceived by designers and technicians in the process of development of the Ubiquitous house.
Exploring the archaïc Tattoo pratice
Tattoo, in its original and traditional context , has always had a first-rank shamanic or therapeutic psycho-magic function. We discover throughout the world, inside different etnic groups, from Asia, Oceania to North and South America, a set of rituals and codes, recurrent to this ancestral practice. Can this archaic knowledge, linked to the practice of tattoo, be submitted to an interesting rereading, thanks to different contemporary scientific advances? How can we re-interpreter or study thoroughfully today, the shamanic/psycho-magic function of traditional tattoo? Can these technics offer a fresh look on the relation body/conscience in an artistic prospect? I have been exploring and experimenting for many years, through my artistic tattoo profession and as plastics technician, the relations that used to be shamanic, of this now popular art. Feeding my work with scientific data, associating for example some elements issued from acupuncture and from researches on the biophotons and very feeble cell radiations of Fritz Albert Popp, I put a lot of time in studying the interface skin/conscience, an element that tattoo has always used in its therapeutic function. After having worked on the skin and brain relation and on the interest there is to explore the endogen/exogene pharmacological and psycholgical dimension, I now explore through a fundamental archaïc artistic technique, the theater of the psyche activities.
Reflections on New Media and the Scholarly Self
Richard A. Courage
This paper flows from a series of conversations, meditations, and collaborations across disciplinary and generational lines. Some are of recent provenance; some extend to the distant past. Within the parameters of the call for conference papers for "Presence in the Mindfield: Art, Identity and the Technology of Transformation," I would emend a key statement to encompass my intended presentation. If "institutionalized art . . . is challenged by the new technologies of knowing and perception, . . . is open to reconstruction and reinterpretation," so too, I would argue, is institutionalized scholarship. Especially in -- but not only in -- the humanities and social sciences, research leading to completion of graduate degrees, to the writing and publication of scholarly monographs and articles, to tenure and promotion, has long followed a well-worn and highly institutionalized path. Scholars are trained to conceptualize the research process by working backwards from the intended final product and its component parts. First we review a body of literature searching for the as-yet unanswered question, the as-yet unsolved problem. We shape and narrow our research questions and identify an appropriate methodology for gathering data with which to answer these questions. We collect, analyze, and array the data, draw conclusions that appear to answer our own questions, and derive broader implications for an imagined community of scholars to further ponder or explore. The process is overwhelmingly linear, sequential, even teleological – a forward march of scholarly progress. We learn it in graduate school; we reproduce it as we teach our students. Not even a generation of scholars weaned on critical theory and deconstructive, post-structuralist, post-modernist inquiry has decisively altered this paradigm, but the transformative potential of "new technologies of knowing and perception" very well may. This paper reflects on my own immersion – past, present, and future – in such technologies.
Economy Of The Moving Image
Economy of the Moving Image will consider the author / subject / spectator relationship within the construction of the trans-media narrative. This paper will examine the design of narrative structures within the context of the moving image through the adaptation of multiple forms of production and dissemination, in order to achieve the overarching narrative framework. Considering the relationship between the real and the fictional representation within the moving image as it relates to the trans-media narrative. Trans-media narratology has the ability or rather the (intended and unintended) power to directly inform perceptions of our cultural, political and societal landscapes. Developed out of a necessity based on the trajectory of communication strategies and technological innovations trans-media narratology provides an ideal territory for investigating the intertextuality and intersubjectivity within a given narrative. In this paper I will be sourcing recent political events in theMiddle Eastern region. Effectively considering “the creative treatment of actuality”, a phrase used bythe British documentary filmmaker John Grierson to characterize documentary filmmaking.
Fluid Selves: dopplegangers and machinic doubles in the electro-biotechnical medium
Alan Dunning / Paul Woodrow
Recent work of the Einstein's Brain Project has concerned itself with the revelation of content and form from apparently empty spaces and random data streams. The work has shown that hybrid human and computer environments generate palpable bodies, forms, and presences from absent or incomplete data. This paper describes the generation and recognition of autonomous active regions within highly attenuated media spaces, suggesting that there are quantum, indexless bodies and mirror-selves in electronic spaces, generated by our presence in the electro-bio-technical medium. Examining the series of works, ColourBlind (2011), Doppelganger (2011), Medium (2011), and Ghosts in the Machine (2009 - ), the authors speculate as to how electronic spaces enfold human/machine identity. The works use low resolution, undifferentiated or empty data sources to create a fertile media space in which active regions of interest are created from machine-imagined data. Using simple imaging techniques - interpolation, resampling, estimation – and complex pattern recognition, the work reveals forms within sparse data. Some look like degraded images of distant original forms, but moving away from a stable state, reimagined by machinic, algorithmic dreaming to take on a life of their own. Others manifest as geometric pattern or unusual clusters in an undifferentiated field of colour. In time, all become increasingly autonomous, feeling increasingly, strangely, alive and present. Parallel with the expanding and developing technologies of communication and representation in all aspects of daily living, scientific research and artistic production, the notion of identity has undergone a transformation. In the past, the notion of self has been directly linked to the physical limits of the body constituting a more or less objective and stable make up. Presently this locative conception of the body has been extended to include all places where electricity can power and spawn communication devices and systems. It is common now to speak of the body as distributed and the mind as extended. Guattari writes: …the machine's environment forms part of machinic agencements. The liminal element of the entry into the machinic zone undergoes a kind of smoothing process, of the uniformisation of a material, like steel which is treated, deterritorialised and made uniform in order to be moulded into machinic shapes. The essence of the machine is linked to procedures which deterritorialise its elements, functions and relations of alterity. Hence it will be necessary to speak of the ontogeny of the technical machine as that which makes it open itself to the exterior. Using Damassio's idea of identity as a moment to moment construction, Metzinger's notions of the phenomenal self, and Guattari's grasp that the technical object cannot be limited to its materiality, the authors suggest that the world is increasingly populated by entities that are manifestations of the energy flows of a new electro-bio-technical space, spawned from the perturbations of bodies in motion. Set free from the constraints of time and space, from the territorialisation of both mind and matter, these are considered as atemporal and aspatial beings existing in a nether world at the intersection of material and being.
Fragmentation and Expansion of the Self
Our modes of interaction with each other and the world are changing and expanding in a myriad new ways. While the process of expressing oneself through the newly available platforms and conceptual constructs is exhilarating to some, it overwhelms others. We have the opportunity to expand and intensify ourselves in unprecedented ways yet the process is complicated and filled with uncertainty. The investment that we make into our new representations is often frustrated by the fragmentation of our psyche resulting from splitting of our image among many platforms and conceptual readings. Today, more than ever, we are finding ourselves in need of producing a unifying meaning. Our sense of expansion, which is facilitated by electronic media, global connectivity and exotic scientific concepts, is haunted by the inability to own oneself. The traditional ways, in which we are used to structure our subjectivity are subverted and rendered ineffective. Narratives, which usually produce meaning through contextualization of our experiences presently, communicate primarily the intensity of the experience. Simultaneously, our ability to make meaning by acting within a narrative is suspended in unlimited choices. Yet precisely reclaiming our stories and agency within the kaleidoscopic world holds the promise of meaningful experience across multiple platforms, be they biological or electronic.
Transforming practices and inquiry in- between arts and arts education
Teresa Torres de Eça / Maria Jesus Agra Pardinãs / Cristina Trigo
Artistic collaborative situations in educational settings can be explored as rituals of transformation in a period of disenchantment and loss of hope , consequence of centuries of rationalism, materialism and individualism. We approach arts education as art activists by working closely with communities we feel we can make a difference, helping people to seek unity in difference , being the facilitators of networks , envisaging new worlds where collaborative artistic performances are pedagogies of resistance and empowerment. Beyond such practices are concepts of expanded education, edupunk and relational pedagogy . As artists, teachers and researchers we spent the last four years identifying people and practices engaged in arts education to redesign ourselves in the 'in-between spaces' of conscientiousness. We have been looking for performances addressing spiritual awareness of the self and ways of understanding the other through collaborative arts education performances. Here, we would like to firstly discuss possibilities to reframe conceptions of arts and arts education from an a/r/tographic research approach , using Irwin ( 2004) a/r/tography concept as an interdisciplinary space for practice based artistic inquiry. And secondly present the web based research platform INTER-Action, a virtual space for dialogic researchers interested in arts-based research, a/r/tography , collaborative research and community arts.
Is creativity a 'natural' process?
This paper argues for an examination of creativity at a lower functional level than existing cognitive-sociological models, drawing on the dynamics of self-organizing complex systems and patterns. Current models focus on cycles or modes of behaviour; whereas dynamic, self-organising physical processes may be directly related to creativity.
Nonhuman Relations in New Media Art
Tyler Fox / Diane Gromala
In the network culture of late capitalist experience, ways of understanding the globally imbricating networks is through that of human experience. The implications of these networks are seen as extending the capabilities and affects of a human already formed. However the dynamic scales, numbers and speeds offered through technical mediation exceed human experience and understanding, any attempts to capture these non-human entities through the human are impoverished and partial. What does a consideration of these altogether non-human entities afford? What does the de-centering of the human provide us, and how can it be done? New media art, offers but one set of non-human encounters through which to reconsider anthropocentricism. The artwork, arguably created for human experience, is not human and does not bend to a complete human understanding. This paper will explore the non-human aspects of new media art. Animals, cells, bacteria, and technology will be exemplars of non-human entities that offer different forms of becoming, alternatives to the human as being-in-the-world, and are all rich media through which artists bring forth new affective encounters. The new sets of relations offered through these encounters help resituate the human as part of the network, not central to it, perhaps even peripheral to the affects of a given set of relations. This posthuman consideration of the non-human offers not just a restructuring of existing relations, but also a speculative fiction of what else could be, an exploration of potential through the alterity of being and becoming.
In the same way that humans have always had the need of inventing fictional and virtual worlds, they have also experimented an attraction for the threatening and fascinating ideas of the doppelganger, automata, and by the related phenomena of desembodiment, ubiquity, remote viewing, bilocation, splitting personalities. The phenomenon of bilocation, for instance, has been widely mentioned in different philosophical and religious systems such as shamanism, Christian mysticism, Hinduism, paganism and others as the ability that some individuals (often saints, monks or mystics) would have of being in two places at the same time. The advent of the Internet, of new technologies, of social networks, opened new and unexpected possibilities in this respect making the chances of expanding one's selves to broaden. If not long ago, these experiences had to be "lived" through cinema and literature, today it is possible to undergo them in first-person: everyone is allowed to create other selves, other profiles, avatars, entities or doppelgangers that can operate in the world (remotely) as extensions of her/him. The present work intends to explore the passage from the possibilities of living fictional worlds, self-splits and previously mentioned phenomena through the artworks of "others" to the present possibilities, and questions, opened by new technologies of creating and living these experiences in first-person, as authors and actors. As quoted by Rosalind Krauss in The Optical Unconscious, (1996: 178-179), Walter Bejamin refers to technological advances as prosthetic limbs that humankind have developed to operate in the world enlarging its powers, alluding in turn to Freud's article Civilization and its Discontents (1930). So have technology created the conditions for an obsolescence of the self to come about? Is it possible to talk about prosthetic selves as artificial extensions of the self that make humans able of exhibiting God-like capacities, such as ubiquity for instance? And if so, do all these multiplied selves actually have the same ontological status as the person generating them? Are these virtual doppelgangers branching narratives in a Chinese box-like ontology of oneself? Are these other lives one is allowed to create part of the fragmented and non-chronological possibilities of a postmodernist narrative/reality?
Intangible and Impermanent
Virtual art can be viewed in a continuum of work that dates back at least to the end of the nineteenth century, using the intangible elements of light and sound. By its dematerialised and ubiquitous nature, however, networked ditial work is breaking down our concepts of art and how it is understood, experi-enced, and sold. Coupled with some recent research in multisensory perception, it would appear that networked digital art is pulling us toward a new perceptual plane that seems analogous to certain ideas developed in quantum mechanics. This new virtual era seems analogous with the new industrial age of the late nineteenth century, with similar interest from the public and from some intensely engaged in-dividuals. It remains to be seen if this can result in true transformative actions.
For many years now I have been developing and implementing musical creative tools for others. Much of that time I have dedicated to working for and with disabled people. This presentation examines some of those creative tools - be they software, hardware or hybrid. An attempt is made to generalize applications and outcomes:, technical, musical and social.
"Telematic sonorities": an experiment using music, technology and performance
Fernanda de Oliveira Gomes
"Telematic Sonorities" is a spin-off of SkilledArt project and aims at motivating new creation, improvise and collaboration networks between artists and audience, in terms of both production and reception using music, technology and performance. In this project, the public is invited to take part in a hybrid experimental music group, which is the result of a mix between virtual and real presence. The first experience was made by the Communication and Arts Department of the University of Aveiro/Portugal. The project's system device was set in two places: a studio with a Chroma Key screen and the department's entrance hall. The musicians stayed in the studio and they could see the hall through a computer screen. At the hall, a screen projected regular sized musicians beside a microphone, which holds an invitation: "vocalists needed". In front of the microphone they could find a folder with "cold texts": medicine information leaflets, recipes, instruction and assembly manuals, route indications that should be sung as if they were lyrics of songs. Another screen shows a mix of the musicians image and the ephemeral vocalists at the microphone, with video music effects. Thus, every participant can see themselves as an active part of such aesthetic experience. The goal of the experiment was to have a kind of jam session at every performance of the musicians and ephemeral vocalists. Observing how audience (those who took their chance at the microphone) and the team involved in its production acted and reacted, it was possible to get to some conclusions: People usually understand the importance of this kind of experimental practice in the academic environment, specially if we take the use of new technologies in artistic, comunication and educational productions into consideration. However, it was noticed that most people are not familiar to those new uses and possibilities of such gadgets, even if they understand there are new tools and settings among the contemporary practices. Hence, it is necessary to keep doing this kind of experiments so that awareness regarding such trends can raise to the very same level of an effective use. That means it is necessary to balance knowledge and practice. Contemporary scenary demands individuals become unique, able to make their own choices, independent to run their own lives. Freedom requires some parameters to settle, though. It is basice to create a system's device which enables individuals to make their choices, leave their fingerprints and dive into creation and improvisation networks. Parameters and guidelines exist not to control anymore, but to stimulate.
Sound navigations: distances, proximities and neural fields
Jane Grant / John Matthias / Matt Wade
In this paper we will investigate sonic 'fields of potential' in relation to a new collaborative artwork, Closer. Closer is a distributed, participatory performance artwork. It is formed from a Neuronal Network or 'cortex' of iphones that record sounds from phone users and their geographies, streaming and fragmenting the audio within the network of phones and neurons. Closer will be part distributed sonic instrument and part game played in real-time geographical space. Each participant becomes part of a dynamically rich, fluid consciousness, navigating the geo-neural spaces of the city. Each phone will have a programmed app. embedded with an artificial small brain circuit in which the evolution of the neuronal cellular voltage membranes change according to the Izhikevich et. al. model (2004). The phone becomes a small, moving, artificial group of neurons. The network of phones (neurons) therefore forms a mobile 'cortex' spread over geographical space. The connectivity of the cortex will be stretched or compressed according to the closeness or proximity of the users and will also be updated with a 'plasticity' algorithm which will strengthen connections between phones which trigger each other regularly. The phones' neurons can be stimulated to fire a 'spike' signal to other phones (when the cellular membrane reaches its threshold voltage) by incoming sound to the phone or from a fired 'spike' signal coming from any of the other phones. A firing event causes a segment of audio to be sent from that phone to all other phones within the neural network. The audio listened to on the individual phones will be made up of an adapting landscape of fragmented sounds which will depend on the geographical locations of the phones, the audio input by the users and the adapting relational 'memory' or plasticity between the phones (neurons). 'Polychronous' Groups of phones will emerge from the network whose locations and sounds will be tracked remotely online on a project website. These groups are analogous to groups of neurons in the brain which are stimulated by sensory information and which we stimulate to form memories (Izhikevich et. al. 2004). Individual phones play the incoming signal from all phones mediated by a volume 'field' which drops-off inversely with increasing distance. The signal travel time between phone neurons will be given by a (renormalized) delay calculated from a signal speed and a geographical distance. The 'conduction delay' in the Neuroscientific model is replaced by this signal time so that the cellular topology of the neurons is governed by the relational geographical phone user topologies – therefore the axonal distance between neurons becomes a geographical distance. The more distant the participants become, the weaker the connection – the closer they become the stronger the connection. There are many aims in the game/performance; one would be for all participants to meet physically, to perform a ludic symphony of their proximity.
The Electronic Man a global performance creating a completely synthetic sense
Salvatore Iaconesi / Oriana Persico
Charles Chaplin's 1936 movie "Modern Times" shows human beings changing the ways in which they perceive the world by establishing contact with a new set of technologies. Time-keeping devices are possibly the most effective agents of change represented in the movie: visually ubiquitous, these devices have had radical impact on lives of human beings well out of the walls of industry, drastically changing our perception of time in ways that are not only powerful and all-encompassing, but also very intimate, influencing the very structure of the our perception of the world. "Time" is now a machine-mediated experience in our whole lives, from as soon as we wake up in the morning by listening to an alarm sound. Our sense of time is not the only one changed by technologies, as our experiences of space, our vision, our proprioception have changed as well, and several entirely new senses have emerged since the entrance of digital technologies and networks in our daily lives. This concept can be framed into the wider set of theories connected to Neuroplasticity, starting from the early insights of William James (1890), up to the experiments of Ramachandran in the beginning of the 1990's, to the studies of Merzenich and Jenkins (1990) and to the analysis of behavioural consequences of synaptic rewiring by Doidge. We joined the worldwide celebrations of the centennial of Marshall McLuhan's birth, in 2011 with an act of global performance art by investigating and enacting the scenarios for the emergence of new, externalized senses through the use of ubiquitous technologies. McLuhan's theory of the Electronic Man according to which the "Electronic man like pre-literate man, ablates or outers the whole man. His information environment is his own central nervous system" (McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969) was juxtaposed to de Kerckhove's description of how "we are invited to refine our proprioception to extend our point of being (rather than our point of view) from wherever we are to wherever technically extended senses can allow us to reach" (The Skin of Culture, 1997). The objective was to envision, design and realize a global system which would enact a digital sense, externalized on a mobile device such as a smartphone. Stickers connecting to the performance through a QRCode were disseminated across cities in the world. By scanning the QRCode people can join in the performance. Whenever anyone interacts with the performance, all the smartphones of the other participants vibrate, thus establishing an instantaneous neo-tactile sense. More than 35000 people joined in the performance, across continents, nations, languages and cultures. The paper will analyze the methodology, design and implementation of the performance. The analysis and evaluation of the results of the performance will be also disclosed and described, from the point of view of the possibility to create new synthetic, accessible, usable and effective senses externalized onto digital devices, extending people's sensorial experience of the world to their global info-scape.
Brazil's Tropicália Movement: Reflections on Anthropophagic Syncretic Reality
Brazilian culture is deeply characterized by syncretism, an intrinsic blend of different, often contradictory and even dichotomous elements, but also "the in-between condition of 'being both'." (Ascott, 2005) The nation's great diversity flows from its history of intermixing different cultures, religions, races, and ethnic groups within a matrix of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, social inequality, and dictatorship. The induced modernity represented by inauguration on April 21, 1960 of the new, planned capital city of Brasília was soon faced with a politically and culturally repressive counterrevolution. The next two decades of military dictatorship could have set the stage for social segregation and cultural stagnation. Instead, a dynamic syncretic countercultural movement called Tropicália emerged in 1967 beneath the heel of dictatorship. Literature, visual arts, interactive art, new media and music forms of expression not only played a central role in the emergence of this socio-cultural movement but were also transformed by it, reshaping all genres of Brazilian art and redefining the very consciousness of the nation. In defining syncretic realities Roy Ascott summarizes and reinforces Brazil's syncretic social dynamics.
BYZANTINOTECHNOLOGIA – VISULATION STRATA
Byzantinotechnologia is a portmanteau word that aims to illustrate issues of alliance between late antiquity media and new media visual mechanisms. Alongside visulation derives from the words visual and simulation which seems to traverse both late antiquity and new media imagery. Technologies of computing can be considered as the most outstanding practice of Descartes' theories. However even if Cartesian resonance can be regarded as an abstract logos and as such it is clearly distinguished from the class of the world, its principal effect to Western thought was that of its dualism as a deterministic organization . Hence, Euclidean plane with a chosen Cartesian system, the so called Cartesian plane, became the standard spatial environment. The article proposes to give the opportunity to visual strategies of late antiquity which has suffered from scant attention and discontinuity up to now, to have a real dialectic relation with new media forms of imagery rather than being persistent with conventional schemata, echoes of Western viewpoints such as Renaissance and Enlightenment. The constant references of the book 'Murder in Byzantium' by Julia Kristeva, are related to a particular perspective that the writer has according to Byzantium, as a place of 'future anterior' that could eliminate Western visual inertia. Virtual and telematic phenomena have managed to generate mental platforms in which rational thinking and plausibility are secondary factors of visual practice. To interpret current visual formulas seeking only to mobilize the power of reason could be proved inefficient. The idea is to recall a suppressed signification of imagery that once has given outstanding samples of virtual, telematic and immersive awareness, issues of current artistic approaches, and redefined them in the context of new media imagery.
Loss of Control - A Shaping Competency for Performativity in Design Research ?
The growing meaning of social media produces change in the effect of communication challenging an ubiquitous feeling of loss of control. Being performative the net is the first form of a performative democracy (Weibel), where you can be author, editor, voter and politician. Welcoming the idea of designing 'hackability' as a frame for participation, users are encouraged to add value to services and application via use. Design research is challenged to participate in this new level of performativity In this sense loss of control can be a useful tool for democratization as a shift and redistributio of power, including changing roles for designers in order to understand the implications of new technologies as a new level of democracy. Shaping competencies permativity is a social organisational design approach exploring co-evolutionary forms of of shifting control to user experience, that invites users to participate in the research processes. Based on John Wheeler's notion, that the observer should be replaced by the participator the approach supplies case studies on mechanisms of innovation in environments of transformation reflecting Maturana's concept of autopoiesis and selforganisation. In this paper I adress loss of control as a challenge of selforganisation that observes shaping strategies in scenographic framings on individual, institutional and social level, suggesting that shifting control is an new way to designing participative research; encouraging access, attraction and success, designers can shape research fields, tools and methods, that enable shareholders to design their own lives and meaning and foster the fragmented as a cultural quality that represents the fluidity of society (Banzi). I call in particular on an exodus into a future society, that defines identities evolving from cultural pondering and research of design tools for organising multiple cultural identities, that appreciate narrations and narrative elements on the way, encouraging people to tell stories to people, aware that information is constant transcoding, translation, translocation and transformating practice, tracing work procedures that explore navigation and viability.
Indifference as Involvement: Tactics of a ‘Mediumistic Being’: Trespassing the Media, Disrupting the Interfaces
Marcel Duchamp defines the artist as a ‘‘mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing. If we give the attributes of a medium to the artist, we must then deny him the state of consciousness on the esthetic plane about what he is doing or why he is doing it. All his decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis, spoken or written, or even thought out,’’ (from The Creative Act, Huston, 1957). According to Duchamp (the artist, who himself strived for aesthetic indifference on conscious level), the art of a ‘mediumistic being’ is not to be interpreted in terms of the medium inhabited by the spectator. Rather, as this paper will try to illustrate, the manifestation of the artistic act is to be considered as a side effect of the artist trespassing from one media to the other. In order to do that the artist must become indifferent to the ground rules of the existing environment. Not following the arbitrary rules allows the artist to be more involved with the medium as it is, depending on the subtle sensibility - making sense of the environment through uncompromised experience.
Instead of relying on predominant visual sensations of our media, on the retinal nerve cells, Duchamp submerges into ‘non retinal’ modality. The transcendence of the artist’s present state of mind, the trespassing into new medium, is manifested on the interface with the old medium as a form of art – not unlike a wave form is evident on the interface between water and air. Expanding on the terminology that was laid as foundation in understanding the media by Marshall McLuhan and on James Gibson’s approach to perception of the environment in terms of media, substances and surfaces, this paper will further discuss the role of the interface in any creative act – be it artistic or scientific - taking as a prime example Duchamp’s art and Poincaré’s scientific method that Poincaré referred to as ‘anarchic discipline’. Such meticulously rebellious endeavour is required for discovering novelty in nature, to get involved in innovation, to perpetually disrupt the established and trespass into new conditions.
Techno-Catharsis: Involvement and Enchantment
Vanderlei Veget Cassiano LOPES JUNIOR
The ever-expanding sphere of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has influenced, and been influenced by, the massive increase in computational power and the development of new technologies. In this article, we discuss the factors linked to this turning-point development by initially investigating to what extent the so-called "boom" of new technologies exert influence over people's mind. To discuss the ways of interacting with computers, our debate opens with a reference to the Aristotelian concept of catharsis, throws light on this all-encompassing theme, and points out both the intellectual and emotional senses of the term itself. At a second moment, we aim at verifying the interrelationship between the sense of catharsis and the technology process, from patterns of addressability to new interactive mediating technologies developed to promote and nurture the user involvement. The great hypothesis this paper sets out to explore is that the way people interact with computer interfaces is largely symbolic in nature and gives rise to a catharsis phenomenon, which points to a dynamic of user's involvement marked by pleasure and enchantment. On the basis of this, we finally discuss different possibilities of user's extreme engagement in mediation by highlighting remarkable cognitive science findings, from ongoing debates on HCI to the so-called embodied interaction.
Fringe, fringe science and the evolution of human mind: the disappearance of the Self and the multiplication of realities
Fringe is a TV series broadcasted by ABC network in the US. It comes from the same producers and authors of the worldwide successful Lost and follows the "Fringe Division", an autonomous unit of the FBI that investigates a mysterious and inscrutable series of paranormal events that seem to be connected in a comprehensive and cryptic "Pattern". The presence of a brilliant and innovative scientist among the members of the unit, associated with the specificity of the phenomena investigated throughout the entire series, has transformed Fringe in a sort of visual and narrative laboratory in which excessive and uncommon issues related to "fringe science" are becoming part of the cultural horizon of televisual audiences. Some of the most interesting themes explored in Fringe are "brain porting" (the possibility of transferring remembered events, cognitive contents -and even feelings- from a life form to another, and of storing them inside a heuristic computer), "mental transference" (the phenomenon that allows residual chemical energy to remain active and productive after death, allowing perceptions, memories and emotions to be worn by different subjects) and the existence of – at least – one "alternative reality" in which the so-called actual world is duplicated with several differences. The intertwining of these themes leads the main narrative of the series toward a plan in which memory is transplanted, and multiple selves are the core of a popularization that allows mysterious and officially unaccepted theories to have a role in the formation of a cultural shift that unmasks the deceptive illusion of a solid and static individuality. The adoption of technological paraphernalia and radical scientific theories related with some of the aforementioned themes needs to be analyzed from a cultural, rather than scientific, standpoint : the existence of multiple selves and the possibility of a sort of technologically-enhanced hive mind (for instance, the "Synaptic Transfer System" is sometimes used in order to obtain a shared dream state during which the electrical field generated by the human brain allows the synchronization of separate minds sharing data) is one of the metaphors of the penetration, even in a popular and mainstream TV series such as Fringe, of radical and subversive issues that ultimately lead to a redefinition of the cultural horizon upon which these narratives insist (Lost is another, more successful example of this phenomenon). It is this horizon that comes to be transformed (even by a larger scale) by the increasing importance of these topics, by the ability of courageous writers and filmmakers to push the limits of contemporary storytelling inside a provocative and challenging realm in which the stability and persistence of the Self is questioned and radically subverted.
Reshaping identities musically: a cross-sequential research with children
Sandrina Diniz Fernandes Milhano
This paper aims to discuss and reflect on the development of children's musical identities. One crucial idea was to try to understand why music is exceptionally suited to serve as a tangible model for making sense of both self and self-identity? Why music can be so important in (re)shaping, formulating, and expressing children's individual identities? A socio-cultural approach in music education studies was fundamental as pupil's developing musical identities have origins in biological predispositions towards musicality, and then are shaped by other people, groups, situations, and social institutions that they encounter as they develop in a particular culture. The arguments presented are drawn upon literature from sociology and psychology of music, ethnomusicology, neuroscience, music education, music education, and community music to demonstrate the diversity of inquiry about musical identities. Given the importance of opportunities and motivations for children to participate in musical activities on their musical and identities development, we will present an analysis of the opportunities in music available for children at primary schools in Portugal. We will demonstrate that opportunities in music at these ages can be of vital importance because the development of a 'sense of self', which usually accompanies the emergence of children's musical identities occurs within the age range covered by this research. The main argument is that, by providing chances for children's to participate in musical activities, their individual musical behaviours, routines and experiences, as well as their attitudes, beliefs and self-perceptions can also be changed, influencing their musical identities. As we will seen, the first years of school may, for many children, be a decisive moment in their lives in shaping not only their attitudes, choices and identities towards a life of musical involvement, but also a decisive moment in 'creating' their own selves and in the way they represent themselves to others. Therefore, understanding how children's musical activities undertaken both at school and outside school influenced in a more specific, particular, unique and individual approach the development of their individual musical identities was central to this research. The research utilized a cross-sequential design that enabled to make longitudinal, cross-sectional and cohort comparisons in order to investigate the effects of the participation in musical activities on children's musical identities. Three studies A, B, and C were carried out in two phases and these are the pupil questionnaire study, the pupil interview study, and the teachers' study respectively. The results showed that by providing new opportunities for children's participation in music, their individual musical behaviours, experiences, attitudes, beliefs and self-perceptions positively altered over time. It enabled the identification of a number of possible determinants, which might go towards explaining children individual musical identity development. These included children's' families', their peers' and the environment and level of their engagement in music, the existence and access to the dynamics of local and cultural institutions, and their teachers' openhandedness and competency to provide them with musical practices at school. The particular experience of participating in the extracurricular musical activities was, for the large majority of pupils, the main determinant of their musical identity.
Light as a material and a metaphor - perception and illusion in installation art projects
Cátia Roldão Morais
Recently I've been questioning the role of light and how it relates with color, shape and scale in games of perception within some installation projects crossing diferent fields from sculpture to architecture inspired in artists like Olafur Eliasson, Carlos Cruz-Diez, ... Light becomes the central character of this works. Like James Turrell said technically the piece is not there once there's only light and space and the viewers perception. In this paper I will talk about works like: Infinite plus Three (DeCA-UA, 2010), an installation project in the elevator (of a three floor building) made with mirrors in every walls including floor and ceiling and changing the white usual light by red ones. The "fourth floor" is a perceptive illusion created with mirrors infinite reflections inside the small space of the elevator, transforming it in a myse en abyme. And the red light is a physical element that takes the user on a "trip" of imagination. The illusion shortens the time the user takes going up and down between floors, because he gets distracted with space: "(...) visual experiences are intensified, and the human will see no reason for action because the experience is so fascinating." said Aldous Huxley. When interacting with the work people discribed feelings of nausea and associations with space travels also took place. The individual is made of a constitutive impotence condemning thought to never be able to intuit something objectively, but to integrate it in the apprehended senses, according to Ernest Cassirer. This "impotence" is compensated with the ubiquity of the senses, so for human conscious there is no presentation, everything is representation. In another work Imaginary City (Santa Joana Museum, Aveiro, 2011) the piece presented was in the thin line between the scultural object and the architectural scale model. Independent scenarios compose the work and they relate to each other resembling the buildings of a city. Unlike replicas of real places and people, this spaces are imagined like a dream, giving body to personal ideas and emotions and creating a world that is a glimpse through the keyhole into the mind, a world where anything is possible.Counteract the body size and scale, forcing him to bend and down at the object level, to be able to experience it visually, extends the perception of the relationship between scales beyond the sense of sight. All the senses are involved in this exercise for the body to feel the work before the vision asserts its dominance by the need to interpret the particular. This houses come to life through an external light source that takes important part on the works visual mechanisms, unlike functional lighting devices.Without the light the environments created not only cease to be illuminated, but would cease to exist.
Open school. The role of new media in contemporary higher education.
Modernity has gradually transformed traditional educational processes that is closely connected to individual and collective identity-building, substituting in new relationship modalities and ways to transmit knowledge between generations: we have moved from training models based on the sacredness of the original group, characterized by a "self-conservative" logic entrusted to an elderly member or priest who is considered the custodian of collective memory; through initiation rites; to peripheral models for functions focused on breaking with the past and affirming individual identity. As Ivan Illich affirms, modern school is recognized as the only institution specialized in education and, at the same time, it paradoxically bases his social control on teacher-centered learning. The teacher bases his authority on three diverse roles: as custodian – someone who guides his pupils through a drawn out labyrinthine ritual and ceremonies; as moralist - he substitutes for parents, God, or the state, indoctrinating the pupil about what is right or wrong, not only in school but also in society at large; as therapist - he feels authorized to delve into the personal life of his pupil in order to help them grow as a person. "Classroom attendance removes children from the everyday world of Western culture and plunges them into an environment far more primitive, magical, and deadly serious." Illich revealed the hidden architecture of the modern school system based on "the funnel model," and proposed a new school model centered on students and network. New technologies are once again transforming teaching models, redefining the relationship map for people involved in teaching, as well as the processes by which an identity is constituted (multiple, virtual, stratified and interconnected), even going so far as to involve a level of consciousness as "technoetic," a term coined by Roy Ascott, who emphasizes that "…the aesthetic definition of the contemporary technological paradigm will be tech-noetic, in other words a blend of what we know and can still investigate through knowledge (noetikos) and that which we can accomplish and will ultimately realize through technology." With this in mind, what happens to the teacher-student relationship, in terms of authority and authoritativeness, when the student is able to use technology to gain direct access to the source of knowledge and the teacher ceases to be the only medium in a territory that is both virtual and real, inhabited by new authoritative subjects? We are witnessing a profound shift in the teaching system, where "closed" institutions – places where specialized knowledge is produced and conserved, characterized by old rituals of social control aimed at developing neo-liberalism (Bologna Process) – and experimental open school models based on concepts of connective education, hybrid knowledge, holistic approaches and new forms of gratitude between teachers and students all coexist together (R. Ascott - Planetary Collegium). Therefore an "open school", as an experiential process with a strong self-reflective and social impact, as a secular innovation for sacredness innate in generational relationships that are expressed today through the triumvirate teaching-art-technology (not by chance the subject of recent student protests in Europe). "…Modern science, technology, and art have expended their energies for over 400 years on making the invisible visible and the imperceptible perceptible…" (S. Zeilinski). Today, what process is bringing visibility to the teaching-art-technology triumvirate?
Identity and integration on the verge of visual multiculturalism
Haytham Nawar / Nagla Samir
The aim of this research is to investigate the role of new media art and visual communication technology play in transcending the boundaries of nationalism towards a broader vision of trans-multiculturalism. Cultural identity, in a sense is a functioning aspect of individual personality, is a fundamental symbol of a person's existence. Supporting a hypothesis that humans cannot hold themselves apart from some form of cultural influence. Yet, the conditions of contemporary community -reframed by broad accessibility to the massive communication technology- suggest the emergence of a developed person, one who is socially and psychologically a product of the interweaving of cultures in the era of multiculturalism. Communication technology and cultural exchange organization have facilitated simultaneous interpersonal and intercultural communication. As Harold Lasswell (1972) once suggested, "The technological revolution as it affects mass media has reached a limit that is subject only to innovations that would substantially modify our basic perspectives of one another and of man's place in the cosmos." Keeping in mind the hypothesis that identity is an acquired, progressive, and shifting composite throughout a person’s life. How can new media art and visual communication help bridge the imperatives; the desire to preserve individual's identity, and the need to be able to communicate with others on a broad scale through time and space?
Extending The Potential Of Digital Multi-User Interactive Systems In Architectural Design: E-Learning Centres U. Porto
Pedro Neto / Andrea Vieira / Bernardo Menezes / Isabel Machado / Duarte Sanchez-Ostiz / Lígia Ribeiro
This paper is the result of a research project promoted by the U. PORTO and its Faculty of Architecture (FAUP) that began in 2006 and focused on the design and study of hybrid spatial environments: E-Learning Centres. The global aim of these spatial environments is to create a set of new dynamic learning spaces able to combine social interaction and diverse activities with studying and constitute, in this way, an important and strategic relational dimension for all the people that work or study in the U. Porto and to open university to its city. This paper starts with a brief introduction about to similar programs and spaces integrating digital multi-user interactive systems for social and learning activities. Then, it synthesizes the most important results of the research undertaken since 2006. Next, we describe briefly the design of E-Learning Café of Asprela and the design of U-Thinking | Outer Space Garden of Asprela explaining the most significant results obtained until now. Next, we present a collection of design proposals, developed by students in the classes of CAAD in the 3rd year of the architecture course in FAUP, which communicate a set of innovative learning spaces, where interactive technologies are used to promote students learning engagement and socialization, and also to make them interact actively with the building´s space configuration. Finally, we synthesize in this paper the most significant conclusions referring to how the people have perceived and used these of hybrid spatial environments and how literature review ideas support these results.
(in)Tangible Now – Phenomenal Aesthetics & The Post-Representational Subject
Much of what makes up the fabric of our daily lives normally exists just under our natural sensory radar. Wireless networks, GPS systems, RFID tracking codes, web servers, mobile phone cells, Bluetooth protocols, and similar communication phenomena all operate at frequencies that require some intervening interface to make them not only useful as messaging media, but apparent to us as pervasive forms. Such phenomena form a living, roving tissue of organization that is so intricately woven with our primary sense system that it structures our experience as a hybrid of computational, informational, and biological functions. Because of this, making art today increasingly depends on an engagement with the invisible: the inaccessible, deferred, extrasensory, out of frame, illegible, and subterranean aspects of our contemporary experience enabled by such digital communication phenomena. The largely hybrid nature of our techno-social-bio sensory system, functioning somewhere between immediate perception and information layered over it, devalues the visual as the privileged site of experience, thereby questioning the role of the visual in contemporary art. The recent shift away from the visual is not the reemergence of conceptual or socially oriented art per se, but rather an macroscopic engagement with the visual as symptomatic - a site of the sensible, informational, technical residue that "speaks" as evidence of the hidden social and political forces that shape our individual experience. It is tempting to reiterate the system aesthetics that peaked in the late 1960s, when a focus on cybernetics redirected our attention from art object to the processes and conditions of its production to explain art practice in wake of the wide spread use of the internet. But art today is more gateway than system, a threshold space of social distillations where we encounter our subject/object dichotomy. As we continually extend our perception via networks and computers we assume their macroscopic view is our own. This is evident in the way that immaterial, yet omnipresent things such as global warming, our human genome sequence and vast global migrations take shape as a very real part of our visual and cultural vocabulary. As artists increasingly foster a "just-in-time" production of reality on a scale that relies on the reach of computational and networked systems, we must ask ourselves what the cost is. I argue that the cost of this expanded reach of the artist is a hybrid subjectivity comprised of artist/machine/audience that calls into question the nature of art as a "creative" act.
Spatial behaviours and narratives
The text is concerned with the comprehension of the everyday life actualized by mobile technologies as the possibilities of aesthetical provocations – a transgressor movement of a certain urban order. The occurrence of that transversal action needs a previous order – the functional cartography of the city, before superposing distinct layers through singular experiences. Some artistic projects, UMBRELLA.net, Recoil and inmobility, will be presented by the possibilities of exploring the transitory and ad hoc networks and their potential for evoking unexpected connections and collective experiences in urban spaces.
"Strangers in the Field" "Archetypal States of Consciousness encoded within Ritual Rhythms"
This paper explores the phenomena of archetypal states of consciousness and methods of representation and induction. An artistic approach is employed to develop a procedural method to induce an altered state of consciousness. Emphasizing Santeria ritual rhythms as a model, the method will take the form of an "Event Score" intended to be presented ultimately as a time-based visual artwork. The particular altered state of consciousness targeted is one where extraordinary information is accessed or enhanced abilities are exhibited; a state which is metaphorically referred to in this paper as "Strangers in the Field". Experiences that fall into this realm include Orisha spirit "possession" by the practitioners of Cuba's Santeria religion. I am interested in similar experiences of shifts in consciousness reported within creative fields such as musical "improvisation", "peak performance" and stream of consciousness automatic drawing.
Human Geography explores a new pornography of the body. The exposure of the human body to the crowd through imaging technologies that penetrate beyond the skin to the molecules within. The paper describes the background to the emergence of Bio-OS (http://www.bio-os.org/) and the development of the Bio-OS tools through several artists commissions and a series of 'Data Labs'. As a biological instrument Bio-OS builds on the i-DAT's 'Operating Systems' (www.op-sy.com) (figure 1) initiative (Arch-OS, CO-OS and Eco-OS). These open tools for gathering data from environments (buildings and landscapes) and organisms (crowds and bodies) will be focused on delivering dynamic and interactive outputs through a range of technologies (such as social networks, streaming media, mobile phone Apps, Full Dome environments, etc). These 'Operating Systems' dynamically manifest 'data' as experience in order to enhance perspectives on a complex world.
Paulo Maria Rodrigues
The idea of aligning the basic vibrations of different sound sources seems to be a pre-condition to the very existence of what is accepted as a proper musical practice. The history of western music has been dominated by efforts to develop systems that allow increasing refinements in the art of aligning and organizing frequencies, but the boundaries of that alignment are not universal, and music involves much more than pitch. The idea of Tuning can be extrapolated to other aspects of Music and can be particularly useful to understand how music deeply affects individual and collective minds. This paper is a speculative reflection on the nature of music as a tuning system that probably evolved as a mechanism that provides answers to basic needs for individual and social alignment. Starting from basic ideas about musical tuning sensu stricto, information gathered from music history, philosophy and psychology is let to resonate with personal artistic and educational practices, leading to a proposal of a concept of tuning that encompasses the sound, the mind and the world.
Acts of Authoring within a Visual Narrative Field
The vast majority of scholarship about the Boxer Uprising in northern China in 1900 is text based. The Boxer-related visual record from 1899-1901, prodigious and underutilized, manages to both inform and misinform. Rife with prejudice and lies—images were often made at the far end of a telegraph wire by professional artists who had never seen China commissioned by editors angling to stoke public passions—the story is nevertheless there, for it is these very lies and shadings that reveal the complexities of their time. The inherent complexity of historical visual images also teaches us to look more critically at images in our own time. The stance of primary source visual images as historical narrative tools wavers somewhere between art historical analysis of the visual itself and signifier in original historical treatise. Only with this twofold penetration can images convey historical narrative. Visual narratology is more than what meets the eye. In raising the level of historical visual images to narrative status, a block—the author's overt control of the narrative—between the subject and the reader is removed. If the "text" is predominantly formed by historical images, the reader moves a step closer towards contact with the past. The visual primary source is no longer subordinate to the author's words. In image-driven texts, the author mediates the contact between primary source visuals and the reader, but within a new narrative mode that goes far beyond the capability of a database, no matter how smart. How, then, is this text composed? As a narrative mode for historical digital images evolves, fundamental standards must be met—not the least of which is the author's skill in leading us down a narrative path—including the vetting of the material, contextualizing through extensive research, and scholarly analysis. Yet the images drive narrative in new directions that open up refreshing new terrain for historical discourse. Can authors author "author-free" environments that place readers in a meaningful way in direct contact with sources? Redefining the author's relationship to the text is critical in understanding what might make visual history unique and uniquely digital. Writing about the narrative potential and potential narratology of historical visual images may begin conceptually, but veers insistently back to the images themselves. A theoretical approach might drive an argument based on primary source images, but the images lie dormant, their historical presence mum, until the author reconnects to look and listen for internal resonances that might give them voice. The idea of transmedial narratology is raised by Marie-Laure Ryan, but what is it in practice?
uunniivveerrssee.net - entry point to infinite stochastic playable virtual worlds
uunniivveerrssee.net - entry point to infinite stochastic playable virtual worlds the uunniivveerrssee is composed of an indefinite amount of hexagonal galleries. this paper explores how several distinct art installations present points of view on universe formation, evolution; infinite stochastic virtual worlds made by simple algorithms; shareable virtual multiuser sonic-visual spaces, where local and remote users err/wander in the randomly and user spawned virtual worlds in tune with their own seeding time, merged in uunnii-time, a parallel time to our own timestamps which collates all data. uunniivveerrssee refers to a series of artistic works surrounding a simulation of universal genetic growth, where an abstract universe evolves a single, shared simulated thread, starting from the void to move towards a series of spatial and racial groupings, galactic elements and kinds of autonomous agents, who live, change and expand through the synthesised universe. uunniivveerrssee proposes the imaginary of the creation of abstract life from water and wind, natural elements in combination with human actions and computer algorithms. the synthesis that is at work involves algorithms of genetic combinations where parameters produced by people generate combinations and evolutionary rules. each element that makes up the uunniivveerrssee presents a formation of genes/seeds, where each gene determines the behaviour of a parameter in the algorithm. the planets, races of autonomous agents, and geometric elements that make up the space possess, as a basic element, seeds, which control the way in which one arm evolves, as well as its maximum moving speed, the targets, number of elements, and their behaviour towards other elements; the form of the planets, their spatial distribution and available resources are the result of the users' interaction with the physical and fluid algorithms developed specifically for this series. being a virtual cosmogony that is updated by means of artistic interfaces, uunniivveerrssee is a series that takes in several levels of visualisation and interaction. the families of levels on which the works were conceived are distributed across three regions: meta-levels of observation and metaphor, levels of distributed content generation, and the plane on which the simulation is updated. within the first region, in Mathx (2010), the user navigates around a network of symbols generated by planets, races and spatial, algorithmic information; ∆ (2009) presents a pyramidal meta-space populated by mathematical operations and planes of video feedback and real-time input; 7000 (2011) presents an interactive control panel distributed across several computers and screens, indicating and manipulating the data by which the simulation is controlled (cellular automata); apex (- pyramid) (2011) and apex (+ pyramid) (2010) are pyramidal sculptures that are sensitive to the touch and to changes made to the network. In Eer (2010-11), the user is invited to wander around the uunniivveerrssee in abstract meta-spaces that gather the various online users. Non-Newtonian (8x) (2011) causes the spectator's movements to interact with the emission of frequencies in non-Newtonian liquids, frequencies which are related to the proximity of the user and the distances of eight planets in galaxies created in the uunniivveerrssee.net database. the great wall (2011) projects onto the facade of the museum elements acquired from racial databases generated according to movements observed by cameras located opposite it. in the second region, we find the touch-sensitive and online pieces uunnii-galáxias, uunnii-bichos, autómato universal (all 2010-11), where elements can be created and submitted to the protean database. the region in which the simulation is updated includes, in the central piece uunniivveerrssee, the combination and evolution of all of the database elements. It is a region in which the user, by means of interactive video installations or online applications, can cause the universal time of the simulation to evolve, experimenting with unique and unrepeatable system states, modifying, mutating and evolving the universe. this is how it all begins. play it online at http://uunniivveerrssee.net.
A quantum leap in creative genius: The organizing principles of consciousness at work
Imagine a point of light in a great expanse of darkness – most of us would focus on the point of light and either accept its presence, or begin asking questions about it. What is it, how did it come to be, how can we make more of it, what should we do with it? Very few would allow the darkness itself into their awareness, and fewer still would realize that the darkness is an organizing principle, organizing light into a point source, and organizing our attention toward the point of light. The light is real to us – we say we're conscious of it, and we leave the rest of it in the dark, calling it the mystery, the unknown, and the unconscious. This is a visual metaphor for our current map of human consciousness – although there are two aspects to human consciousness, designed to work together with limitless creative and perceptual capacity, we currently recognize only one of them as 'conscious' and unfortunately it's the smaller, more limited portion we recognize. As for the rest of it, we are trying to understand and measure and explain it into a form we can accept, but we're using the wrong aspect of consciousness for this task. Herein lies our great error, and herein lies the foundational limitation of our current state of creativity – for everything we envision and create, every idea that takes form, or piece of art that comes to life, or product that comes to market is the outcome of that great expanse of consciousness we've relegated to the darkness of the unconscious. And within that great expanse there are organizing principles at work – principles as precise as physics and as fluid and resilient as the forces of evolution. Given the incredible rate of change in the world today, and the massive challenges to our well-being on a global as well as local scale, few would argue that what we need is a quantum leap in our ability to vision and create. We no longer have time for our accustomed ways of problem solving that require proof ahead of experience; we no longer have the luxury of believing we can reason our way to consciousness. The weaving of the organizing principles of consciousness with the awakened engagement of the two magnificent aspects of human consciousness provide the tools we need. The Yaqui elders of Central America say about humans that the core of our being is perception, but the magic of our being is awareness. This is another way of talking about human consciousness and its two unique aspects. The focus of this paper will be to bring our magic into the light by first explaining the two aspects of human consciousness, their evolutionary development, and their roles in the envisioning and creation of beauty. Secondly this paper will focus on the core organizing principles of consciousness as our highest human technology for generating quantum leaps in dimensional perception, awareness, creativity, and the evolution of consciousness itself.
Location and Mediation in Networked Space
Drawing on the recent analysis of Tristan Thielmann (2010), who adopts the term "geomedia" to name the contemporary entanglements of media and geography, we can affirm that we live in a geomedia environment today. New socio-spatial formations have arisen from the spread of computing into the environment: wireless technologies and mobile devices force us to rethink location and identity according to different paradigms which exceed traditional notions of space and time as well as of subjectivity. If, on the one hand, ubiquitous computing is undoubtedly more and more location-aware and thus context-dependent, on the other hand the networked, relational and generative character of located practices and identities becomes more visible. This means that the "end" of space should rather be intended as the end of a specific notion of space, and mark the awareness of a transformation that interests places and media at the same time, giving rise to media that become increasingly located and localities that are more and more mediated. In my talk I will consider the way locative media have been theorized in the artistic field, reviewing some artistic manifestations of the "geospatial web" that recast the two poles of this renewed debate—the presumed concreteness of location and the presumed abstraction of information—in a more complex, entangled scenario that urges us to consider both places and technologies of location as intertwined from the very beginning. Locative media arts are a privileged field for observing the spatial performativity of locative media and its oscillation between unhinging and embeddedness. Moreover, locative arts make explicit the way locative media work as a global positioning system that is locatively produced and consumed, part of an ongoing process of negotiation and recombination.
BRAIN CURRENT INTERFACE towards a new level of interaction design
Brain Current Interface model seeks to enlighten a mechanism that would enhance usability of the human brain as a more intriguing alloy for interaction design. This technology can be applied efficiently with non-invasive BCIs (Brain Computer interface). Learning to deliberately alter your attention, can be attained by training particular aspects of brain activity, influences cognitive performance and advances well-being of individuals of any age.
AVATARS AND SUPER-AVATARS
In the context of the year 2011 of spontaneous popular uprisings around the Mediterranean, the paper asks where were the visual arts in this 'year of the wave'? Why has creative spontaneity – normally the privileged territory of the individual artist – been so spectacularly expropriated by mass movements mainly motivated by the simple desire for liberty from governments which have failed them? How is it that for the past 30+ years visual artists have been driving a perceptual migration from the object to the event – from painting and sculpture to installation and contextual work – from the particle to the wave indeed…yet were completely outside the wave when it swept through the Maghreb and the Middle East? Partly, of course, the nations being thus forcefully irrigated do not have the same traditions of pattern-breaking art and artists that has evolved in the West in the past 5 centuries. But in addition, Western artists are themselves entrapped within a tradition of individualism which shapes the markets and media through which art reaches its public. The Planetary Collegium, it may be argued, partially suspends this entrapment – its Ph D students are individually accountable, but within an environment of actively collaborative experience at the regular international meetings. But at the end of the course the artist is returned to a world in which the avenues for spontaneous creative collaboration are severely limited – a world where the macroscopic potentials of contextual and installation art remain largely out of reach. Yet these potentials arguably were fulfilled in Cairo's Tahrir square, Tripoli's Green Square before Gaddafi cracked down, the Pearl roundabout in Bahrain before the arrival of Saudi armoured columns, Madrid's Puerto del Sol throughout a long hot summer – locations where individuals pooled their individual avatars to create super-avatars in the interests of collective survival. The presentation associated with this paper will nominate an interim institution, the Institute of Cultural Evolution Studies, which will pose questions in a collaborative format and hopefully create debate about the issue of Self-Organizing Artist Networks (SOANs) as a macroscopic alternative to the individuated microcosms in which artists are currently isolated.
Living in sound
In facing the de-materialization of living and cultural presence, new chances to characterise life in non-material substrata are suggested. The development of singing in certain species of birds, such as the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) appears to be linked to the ontogenetic and cultural development of the single bird that lasts its entire lifetime in a complex coupling with its activity as a living being. This suggested the idea to discuss the connections between a model of the living system and the substrate of sound, in the attempt to paraphrase and ultimately simulate life in sounds. In 1972 H.Maturana and F.Varela introduced a model of the living being as an autopoietic system, that was soon applied to the analysis of language and social entities. Its reductionist character is well suited to be applied in systems whose activity is defined only in emitting or receiving sounds. The project of a single system that is "living in sound" is discussed in its relationship with the issue of the topology of living systems as detached from physical matter and its properties related to the world in which we observe it, such as the overlapping. Another problem comes from the fact that the material realisation of the "living" unit characterises it as an allopoietic system, rising the issue of the relationship, that is relevant even in biological systems, between the descriptive domain of a living system as such and the allopoietic substructure that realises it. Finally, the realisation of the project is presented as an interactive installation, that is made of a "community" of units, that are "living" in sound. The sonic inter-connections of the units realise a second order autopoietic system that, according to the original Maturana's and Varela's model shows a cognitive closure and yet it is open to cognitively represent and interact with, as we observe from outside, the sonic environment.
Transformative acts of leaving a trace, marking, and inscription erase fixed boundaries. The self multiplies and dissipates within its mirroring through virtual imagery and sonic residue, becoming a site of exchange, co-disappearance and co-emerging. Within the field of the new and evolving models of knowing and perception, the non-linear, repetitive and simultaneous creative acts offer a hypothetical promise of thriving outside the established structures of power. Performative and multiple selves become displaced, shared and altered in the process. There is perhaps a possibility of recovery of forgotten metaphysical and spiritual models of behavior. Shared acts of repetition and transition evoked in ancient rituals, reverberate today through the evolving cinematic and sonic environments. The interruption and convergence of our understanding of dispersed histories and identities happens through an evolving poïesis, examples of which take into account enunciation, repetition, language, performativity, interactivity and the realm of cinematic and sonic environment. The implied questions would aim at trans-historical issues and global ethics. The paper will consider my own work as well as projects and writings by Giorgio Agamben, Margaret Alexiou, Judith Buttler, John Cage, Bracha Ettinger, Alfredo Jaar, Emmanuel Levinas, Warren Neidich and Krzysztof Wodiczko, among others.
Deliberating the spiritual and mystical principles of “poverty of soul and nothingness”
This presentation will focus on the relationship between ideals of Persian artistic identity, where the artist worked on the basis of the quality and spiritual state of his mind. To be a real artist, it was generally requested that the artist would not only gain experience, even if it was a goal that he should achieve purification of his soul. The ideal was a kind of art that would express the “spirit of excellence”, where the artist should bring the physical and mental parts of his body to a rich unity, that integrated God and immateriality.
A real artist after achieving enough experience and technical skill had to prepare for the next level, Art as behaviour of mind, embedded in the physical world for the essence of transformation from immaterial existence to material existence. These requests are particular of mysticism and Sufism that aimed towards the aspiration of self towards God, where art would be an interface between the physical and metaphysical world.