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State of the Art Influence 02: Audiovisual

Another artist that has inspired the project is Joe Hyde, specifically Periphery (2008). It is particularly relevant to view Periphery with the themes of fragmentation, distortion, and ethereality in mind. Additionally, it is possible to view Periphery in the context of philosophy…

Periphery can be viewed in light of Sartre’s discussion of embodiment and alienation. According to Svenaeus, Sartre’s concepts of ‘being-for-itself’ [an object for consciousness] and ‘being-in-itself’ [a thing] are simultaneously opposed and conjoined (Svenaeus 2009, p. 55). For Sartre, Svenaeus explains, the act of embodiment between humans is characterised by feelings of shame in that when looked at, an individual momentarily becomes a “for-itself” of the other person’s consciousness, and thus a ‘thing’, which is fundamentally alienating (Svenaeus 2009, p. 55). Because in Periphery the participant is forced to view a fractured depiction of his or her self layered on that of others, their experience is that of an estranged and distanced one.

Description taken from Joe Hyde’s website:

“Periphery mixes a lo-fi aesthetic with a touch of seedy glamour, fairground-attraction illusion with high technology. It shows you yourself; refracted, distorted, multiplied a hundredfold. But these alternative selves aren’t always quite with you; unreliable and unsettling mimics, they may linger a little longer than they should; glitch, flicker or fade. Sometimes these digital ghosts are joined by others you don’t recognise, traces of movement left by earlier visitors; figures from the past, captured and frozen. They speak – a low babble of voices you didn’t notice at first, fragments of words; questions you can’t quite catch. Try to reply and your words bounce back at you, scrambled and disjointed, a parody of echo.

Periphery explores issues of representation, identity, observation, memory and otherness. It presents fleeting instances, images just caught out of the corner of the eye, words on the tip of the tongue and half-remembered songs. It happens on the very edge of the field of vision and at the threshold of hearing. It forces you to fill in the blanks.

Commissioned by DA2 (The Digital Arts Development Agency) and the Watershed Media Centre (Bristol). Also supported by a Research and Development Grant from the Arts Council of England.” –

Theory 03: Critical Review Thinking (Colombetti and Enactive Affectivity)

Colombetti and enactive affectivity:

Like Leman’s embodied music cognition, Colombetti argues that affectivity (the feeling body) is not a contingent feature of the mind, but an essential dimension of embodied living. Colombetti argues that current theories about emotion don’t account for the feeling body, thus they overlook widespread phenomena of biological organisms. From a phenomenological perspective, Colombetti argues that emotion is integral to both perception and action, and that a goal orientated corporeality results as action from the feeling body. For example, physical reactions (such as frowning, smiling, shaking, clenched fists etc.) are bodily responses to felt emotion and in turn so can further action be. Colombetti addresses “appraisal”, which is central to cognitive approaches to emotion, but, like Leman, argues that disembodied approaches to cognition are not valid. Through phenomenological consideration, Colombetti argues that embodied approaches to appraisal are essential in order to address the overlap between emotion and cognition; it is not possible to separate appraisal from embodiment. Similar to Leman, Colombetti argues that the body is a medium through which experiences are felt, and there is a distinction between this and the body as an intentional object of experience. Nevertheless, within the body there is a complex network of interrelationships.

“The body of the inactive mind is thus not just the perceiving and acting body but the living body, and as such it includes, for example, the circulatory system, the immune system, and the endocrine system. These dimensions of the body are all seen as contributing to the kind of mind one has.” (Colombetti 2014, Loc 156)

Points to agree with and consider (affective phenomenology):

- Affective science is closely related to cognitive science, but is commonly understood to be concerned with the phenomena of emotion. A central idea to enactivism is embodiment. Phenomena such as emotions and moods cannot be separated from bodily experiences, and the comprehension of bodily experience. Phenomenological approaches, as well as other approaches to lived experience, should be taken.

- Merlaeu-Ponty made the most room for the lived body in his phenomenology of perception: “motion intentionality” and “corporeal schema” refers to a concrete and practical reaching out through the medium of the body to the world. The philosophy of Biran is particularly suitable for developing an account of affectivity where kinaesthetic dimensions of the lived body are central to experience.

- Heidegger claims that we are made up of moods that are modes of being in the world. Husserl theorised that moods are a way of illuminating the way in which subjects can experience the world. According to Colombetti, though, Heidegger does not address the relationship between affectivity and the body.

- Colombetti reads Heidegger’s moods in context of Patocka, who theorises that moods are altered by impressions of the world around us, dependent on how the world impresses upon our corporeal body. Colombetti concludes that moods are a kind of consequence of corporeality that are open to the world as a way of being. This is also related to the interdependencies of felt emotions and their subsequent moods.

How it will be situated:

- The project will adopt Colombetti’s approach insofar as that it will take the stance that the physicality of emotion is integral to both perception and action. This embodied enactivity is central to affective corporeal intentionality. The body is a mediator of lived experience.

- It will consider Colombetti’s discussion of mood as a product of affective emotion, and that in some cases of mood disorders an exaggerated attention to ones bodily sensations becomes alienating. This will be discussed in context of Sartre’s Embodiment and Alienation.

- It will also consider Colombetti’s reading of Lewis’ theory that triggering events can initiate, put simply, emotional episodes with physical response that are part of that felt emotion. It will consider this in relation to a corporeal influence of embodied consciousness. This will be considered in context of Husserl’s phenomenological unconscious and Merlau-Ponty’s body-memory.

- It will evaluate Colombetti’s suggestion of visual art and music as capable of evoking emotion inasmuch as they reproduce bodily movement analogous to those felt by the body when those emotions are felt in other instances. This will be considered in context of the audiovisual installation and the type of effects it produces on the participants who test it.


In summary, the points of Colombetti’s argument that are central to my study are as follows. First, it is important to consider affectivity as the corporeality of felt emotion, which results in physical bodily feelings and movements and responses. Second to this, moods are part of interdependencies of emotion. Moods illuminate the way in which a subject experiences the world. The world, in turn, influences the subject’s lived experience through the medium of the body. So, as such, affectivity cannot be separated from embodied action. This can be considered in terms of embodiment and alienation, from a phenomenological point of view. It can also be considered in relation to the way in which an audience can have an embodied experience evocative of a distorted relationship to one’s own way of being through media art, that is characteristic of an exaggerated attention of bodily sensations.

Colombetti, G. (2014) The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Theory 02: Critical Review Thinking (Leman and Embodied Music Cognition)

Marc Leman’s embodied music cognition:

Similar to the concept outlined by Merlaeu Ponty that the body is a mediator between internal and external experience, Leman analyses the embodiment of sound in terms of mind, body, and matter. The body is a biologically designed mediator that transfers sound from the environment to the mind and from the mind to the environment through action or movement. The coupling of action and perception is central to Leman’s approach. Leman’s conceptualising of a need for transparent mediation technology can be compared to Dourish’s reading of Heidegger’s technological tools in human computer interaction. Corporeal immersion in sound should take an action-oriented approach in order to be effective. Recently, the development of interactive multimedia platforms (Pure Data, Max etc.) has played an important role in the shift in understanding from disembodied to embodied cognition.

Points to agree with and consider:

- The nature of musical communication is rooted in the relationship between the cognitive body and sound matter. The mind communicates with this matter through the biological mediator, which is the body.

- The body can be extended with artificial mediation technologies, allowing consciousness to cross over into digital and virtual realms. Similar to Dourish, Leman argues that in order to be effective this must be somewhat transparent in use.

- Like Dourish, Lemen argues that the coupling of action and perception is the central mechanism to embodied cognition (corporeal intentionality). Intentionality can be expressed through physical movement in response to sound.

- Corporeal engagement with sound allows empathy. Leman puts forward Lipps’ argument that motor movement allows listeners to experience empathy physically, rather than emotionally, through moving sonic forms. This means that paradoxically sadness can become a source of pleasure because motor movement and sonic movement are matched. At the same time the subject can both identify with [the other] and become detached from it.

- A balance between awareness of and direct involvement with sound must be achieved in order to be effective. In recent years multimedia platforms have assisted in a transition from the study of disembodied to embodied cognition.

How it will be situated:

- Lemen’s goal is to better mediation technology in order to improve involvement with music and the way in which it can be accessed. The goal of this project, however, is to evaluate sound mediation in context of media art experience.

- Leman disagrees with the subjectivism approach, and so does this project. A model concerned with corporeality must address internal involvement with music within an action-orientated ontology. Listening to music has been known to generate a physical response.

- As argued by Leman, the project will use the multimedia platforms to study embodied cognition in real time. Sensorimotor theory provides the opportunity to involve phenomenology to the embodiment of music.

- Empathy in music is mediated by affective qualities insofar as that its corporeal quality impacts the emotional system felt by the acting body. This is physical, rather than sensory. This project will focus on the particular embodied feeling generated by the installation, which will have an audio component.

- Perception is coupled with an anticipating memory, action-relevent ontology. The project will consider how the mind can trigger a particular response stored in body-memory through sound, relating to Merlaeu-Ponty.

A point to challenge:

- Leman argues that technological mediators should take into account natural responses to music, such as movement in playing an instrument, or that the response should be rewarding so as to encourage the use of a skill by the audience in an art environment. The project will investigate the body as a source of sound, where no physical skill as such is required, and evaluate the effectiveness of this. Because the project assumes a philosophical perspective to produce particular thought, a response to the use of a skill in an interactive work may be too distracting.

Leman, M. (2008) Embodied Music Cognition and Mediation Technology. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Theory 01: Critical Review Thinking (Dourish and Embodiment)

Paul Dourish and phenomenology:

The world is filled with meaning available to humans through embodied action (occurring in the moment). Brentano – “intentionality” is an internal thinking of the essences of external objects in the world. Descartes – disembodied subjective consciousness means reality is uncertain, but this is has been elaborated and re-conceptualised to include a unity between the mind and body bridged by action, by phenomenologists such as Husserl – everyday embodied experience is the basis for relating to the world, Schutz – concept can be extended to social interaction and relating to other people/ intersubjectivity, Heidegger – embodied action is a way of being, Merleau-Ponty – the body mediates between internal and external experience. The concept of embodied action as meaning can be adopted by tangible and social computing. Embodied interaction in digital interfaces allows audiences to communicate meaning in digital realms.

Points to agree with and consider:

- Individuals cannot be separated from the world in which they live and act through their bodies; embodiment means things are embedded in the world.

- Technological mediators can become less noticeable and improve the experience of its effect, in ubiquitous computing. The term “invisible” is perhaps not suitable in all circumstances.

- Embodied interaction is constitutive of the whole experience, which is important to consider in tangible computing. Therefore the kind of experience created is important.

- Embodiment, intentionality and coupling combine to create an effective sensory experience; embodied interaction turns action into meaning.

- Ontological problems in technology can occur in presenting themselves to audiences in a way that communicates the way in which it should be used.

- Users create meaning ultimately, not designers, as the users are the ones experiencing the interface.

Idea behind the project:

The idea behind an image being captured of the audience participant and becoming distorted in real time is to bring the audiences body to the attention as perceived from a different perspective, thus highlighting a kind of awareness of mind-body interdependence, whether or not it is understood by the audience in these terms. Sartre’s embodiment and alienation could be linked to this in that, through the digital realm, the body becomes noticed, similar to Sartre’s theory of the body becoming noticed as the “other”. It will be explored from a philosophical point of view.

How it will be situated differently:

- The project will have a foundation in phenomenology, particularly considering Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, and Sartre. It will be concerned with embodiment and experience.

- The project will be concerned with interaction, but more about the effect of the interaction from a philosophical point of view rather than furthering the development of HCI.

- It will be about the specific design and outcome of this particular multimedia biometric, interface, not a broad exploration of computing.

- Dourish argues that familiarity is key to making technological interfaces effective, but the goal for this specific installation is to create an unfamiliar experience or outcome in order to question consciousness and embodiment from a philosophical point of view.

Dourish, P. (2004) Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction. 1st Edition. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Enterprise and Research Methods 09: Literature Review (Svenaeus 2009)

Svenaeus, F. 2009. The Phenomenology of Falling Ill: An Explication, Critique and Improvement of Sartre’s Theory of Embodiment and Alienation. Human Studies. 32 (1) 53 – 66.

In this journal article, Svenaeus interprets and develops the basic model of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943), arguing that to fall ill is a “gradual process of alienation, and with each step this alienating process is taken to a new qualitative level” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 53). Svenaeus adopts Sartre’s focus on embodiment as intrinsic to this alienating process, but suggests that “the alienation of the body in illness is not only the experience of a psychic object, but an experience of the independent life of one’s own body” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 53). What it interesting about the article is that Svenaeus explores t’consciousness’ and ‘thingness’, in context of Sartre’s concept of being for-itself (consciousness), in-itself (thing-ness), and and being-for-others (alienation). Svenaeus’ critique relates and applies Sartre’s thought to contemporary health care, but for the purpose of this blog post, Svenaeus’ focus on Sartre’s concept of being will be the discussion point.

First, Svenaeus discusses the phenomenological theme of ‘facticity’; that is, that which Svenaeus describes as “the attempt to spell out the meaning of everyday life in the everyday world without falling prey to either scientific reductionism or transcendental idealism”, mentioning Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenolgy of Perception (1962), which claims that “philosophy is the study of essences” and that it “does not expect to arrive at an understanding of man and the world from any starting point other than that of their ‘facticity’” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 54). Additionally, Svenaeus explains that Sartre had the aim of developing a more fundamental ontology using the example of falling ill in Being and Nothingness, but argues that this example can be critiqued and it can also call into question new ways of thinking. Like Welsh (2002; mentioned in previous blog entry), Svenaeus references Zahavi, who discusses the body as being a part of a collection of things that are both in the world and independent of our experiences:
“The experience of the world (and our bodies belong to this world) is an experience of something that is independent of our experiences. We do not make up the cellular processes of our bodies by way of our experiences any more than we make up the everyday things that surround us in daily life” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 55).
This idea that the body is part of a world “in-itself”, or a world of ‘things’, can be discussed in relation to Sartre’s theory of embodiment and alienation that encompasses the body, when gazed at by another, as ‘other’ as a product of the paradoxical and simultaneous “for-itself” and “in-itself”.

Svenaeus explains that in the second chapter of Being and Nothingness, ‘The Body’, and in the third part ‘Being-for-others’, an outline of the phenomenology of falling ill elaborates Sartre’s concepts of ‘being-for-itself’ and ‘being-in-itself’, and that “these two forms of being are not only opposed to each other, but also necessarily conjoined” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 55). For Sartre, Svenaeus explains, the act of embodiment between the interaction of humans is characterised by feelings of shame in that the person, “for-itself”, momentarily becomes a ‘thing’:
“The main idea is that the gaze of the other person has the power to objectify me; I turn into a thing for another consciousness by being looked upon and thereby discover my body as an in-itself, which is yet me… To become oneself by way of the direct or indirect gaze of the other appears to be a fundamentally alienating experience: the self is separated from its true essence – freedom as consciousness – in becoming an in-itself (a thing). The lived body thus appears to be the place where the being-for-itself finally confronts the being-in-itself, although these two forms of being are necessarily opposed for Sartre” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 55).
The body as a ‘thing’ is a being for consciousness, and therefore it is different from consciousness. This, Svenaeus explains, for Sartre, means that consciousness is a way of its “being nihilation”; it is always different from things, but it lacks essence. Consciousness is “pure existence devoid of any essence” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 55). This paradox, Svenaeus explains, is fundamentally alienating for Sartre.

In an attempt to uncover the structure of a lived body, Svenaeus explains, Sartre uses physical examples of pain and illness: the lived pain experienced in the body is not presented as belonging to the body, but rather, belonging to the activity by which the body experiences it. For example, Sartre describes a scenario whereby a reader experiences pain through reading, but does not necessarily concentrate on this pain outside of reading: “The pain is not known – not focused on as an in-itself – but is still there in my pre-reflective way of consciousness until I used a finger to turn the page” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 56). Here, with reference to Heidegger, Svenaeus explains, pain is presented as a part of the bodies “being-in-the-world”; it is not reflective or referred to others, it is in the body as “vision-as-pain”, that comes to the surface when apprehending pain. This apprehending of pain is, according to Sartre, a directed reflective consciousness on “present consciousness-as-vision”, a pain that is “posited” by this reflective consciousness (Svenaeus 2009, p. 56). Sartre’s pain, Svenaeus explains, is a “psychic object” that has its own time: “it is distinct from consciousness and appears through it”. For Sartre, “the brief respites are a part of the illness just as silences are a part of the melody. This ensemble constitutes the rhythm and behaviour of the illness” (Svenaeus 2009, p. 57).

In summary, Svenaeus argues that illness or pain is lived as a for-itself of the person’s own body, “that is: a for-itself which is mine, yet still alien, since it resists and disturbs, rather than supports, consciousness. This is an aporia for Sartre, of course: in his system only consciousness can display the form of the for-itself’s being”. With this in mind, Svenaeus states that to view pain as “an object constituted by the self-being of consciousness, would be to miss the point that the body is actually at the very heart of my self-being as a constituting being, rather than being constituted by me”. According to Svenaeus, it is the otherness of the body that “lends facticity” to its existence (Svenaeus 2009, p. 57-58).

Enterprise and Research Methods 08: Literature Review (Welsh 2002)

Welsh, T. (2002) The Retentional and the Repressed: Does Freud’s Concept of the Unconscious Threaten Husserlian Phenomenology? Springer. 25 (2) 165 – 183.

In this journal article, Welsh investigates the ‘unconscious’ in Husserlian phenomenology, alongside claims in the Freudian ‘unconscious’ of psychoanalytic thought, explaining that Husserl’s thinking does not account for the Freudian unconscious. The phenomenological unconscious, Welsh argues, only equates to the psychoanalytic pre-conscious, which can be accessed by the conscious mind. The Husserlian unconscious, Welsh explains, can be ‘activated’ by triggers in real-time consciousness. This blog post will outline Welsh’s standpoint on both the perspectives of Husserl and Freud, from point of view that is situated in the discipline of philosophy. It will explain Welsh’s statement that, although Husserl and Freud both studied under the teachings of Brentano, the two thinkers pursued different directions of thought. This blog post will largely explore Welsh’s views on Husserl’s thought, and it will briefly, towards the end of the post, discuss the aspects of Freudian thought that Welsh poses as important.

Firstly, Welsh articulates her reasons for making the psychoanalytic link with phenomenology: Welsh argues that phenomonology can “philosophically ground psychoanalysis” (Welsh 2002, p. 165). Additionally, Welsh references Zahavi, who “notes that it is a misunderstanding to assume that phenomenology cannot investigate the unconscious” (Welsh 2002, p. 165). Phenomenology, indeed, investigates consciousness with a range of of intentions. Zahavi writes “the moment phenomenology moves beyond an investigation of object-manifestation and act-intentionality, it enters a realm that has traditionally been called the unconscious” (Zahavi 1999, p. 207). Semantics aside, there are aspects of the mind that are not always conscious and accessible, and phenomenology “is capable of handling unconscious as well as conscious aspects of physical life” (Welsh 2002, p. 166). To provide enlightenment for the issue, Welsh discusses the thought of Husserl’s teacher, Brentano, who did not consider the concept of an “unconscious consciousness” to be a complete contradiction. Rather, it is a consciousness that is “indirectly inferable” (Welsh 2002, p.167). In other words, it is possible grasp the unconscious deductively from experience. However, Brentano’s unconscious consciousness becomes problematic, as it is possible to confuse the distinction between that which is unconscious and that which is merely “unclear and indistinct” (Welsh 2002, p.167). Brentano’s thinking, Welsh points out, is evident in Husserlian theory, which is “largely unconcerned with the idea of unconscious mental states,” but that, ultimately, “the lion’s share of Husserl’s corpus is concerned with aspects of physical life that are, strictly speaking, unconscious” (Welsh 2002, p. 168).

The first objective of Welsh’s article is to describe Husserl’s ‘Passive Synthesis’, which depicts a complex positioning of the unconscious. Husserl, Welsh explains, states that there is an “unintentional reservoir of past intentions”, which can be activated through consciousness in order to “come to life” (Welsh 2002, p. 166). Welsh points out that in ‘Passive Synthesis’, Husserl describes a “zone which is characterised as non living and deeply unconscious, not just indirectly unconscious” and argues that “Husserl characterises this sphere of retentions as unconscious in a deep sense”. These ‘retentions’ of experiences are dormant: they “are not active in any sense, and “they have no purpose or intentionality” (Welsh 2002, p.169-170). But although they are not living, they both influence and constitute the present when they have been awoken. For a retention to exist in this zone, Welsh explains, Husserl states that they “first must be born as part of the living present” (Welsh 2002, p.170). Welsh discusses Husserl’s concept of ‘retention’ in some depth, explaining it considers “how association awakens the non-living sphere”, that the “streaming now awakens the past with association” and because of this “not only does the present, streaming, now have its own retentions, but it also forms associations with deeper retentions” (Welsh 2002, p. 171). To put it simply, association, according to Husserl, causes chains of associations wherein the past competes with the present. To illustrate Husserl’s concept of retention, Welsh introduces the example of listening to music:
“When hearing a short melody, one is at any single moment only hearing certain sounds. However, one hears a melody, not just a meaningless succession of sounds. Thus, one is able to passively retain the past notes and expect future ones. The retention of the past notes is not conscious, or even explicit, but it aids in making the melody comprehensible as a melody. Without such a passive element in consciousness, much of every day life would be void of meaning” (Welsh 2002, p. 169).
From this point of view, it is possible to acknowledge that there are, indeed, different levels of consciousness where material is stored remotely from real-time consciousness. However, Welsh discusses Husserl’s past retentions, and she considers could be objected to with the suggestion that “retention is just another word for memory” (Welsh 2002, p. 169). It can be argued, though, that memory has retentional properties and in order to create meaning the experience of absorbing this material must have some imprint within these levels of consciousness, that can be accessed again in the future.

Next, Welsh outlines what is described as the ‘Freudian unconscious’, having been enlightened by the Husserlian unconscious. Welsh explains that in psychoanalysis, paradoxically, if a deep unconscious exists the only way in which it can be accessed is through “what it is not, i.e., consciousness”, which is having any knowledge of it at all. (Welsh 2002, p. 172). Welsh acknowledges that the Freudian unconscious, in relation to the Husserlian unconscious, in a difference species, so to speak, in that “in Freudian theory, the reservoir of retentional objects is only the pre-conscious part of the unconscious”. In the words of Welsh, the Freudian unconscious is “unthematic-yet-accessible memory” (Welsh 2002, p.174). To put it another way, “the unconscious in the psychoanalytic sense is constituted by contents inaccessible to consciousness” (Laplanche and Leclaire 1972, p.127). Welsh discusses the relationship of the unconscious and the conscious in context of Freud’s terminology, the ‘id’ (unconscious) and the ‘ego (conscious):
“This unconscious id impels the ego-subject toward objects of pleasure, regardless of whether or not these objects are permitted or obtainable. Neither ‘side’ acknowledges or interacts with the other. The id remains ignorant of reality, and, of course, reality is indifferent to any demands issuing from the individual” (Welsh 2002, p. 175).
This un-dialogue that Freud illustrates is exactly that which cannot be accessed by the conscious mind. What is interesting, is, that human behaviour does suggest that it is controlled by the unconscious. As Welsh explains, “since it is barred entry to conscious life, it cannot ‘understand’ that it is presenting impossible demands upon the ego”. Additionally, she explains that “since the psychoanalytic unconscious is separated from this learning experience, the instinctual representative of primal repression never goes through transformations” (Welsh 2002, p. 176-177). It seems that once the id has been created in the lived moment, it cannot be changed by the conscious mind.

Enterprise and Research Methods 06: Research Proposal Thinking


Click the image then zoom in to navigate brainstorm.

The proposed project will be an interdisciplinary investigative representation of an aspect of the conscious mind’s potential. The mind’s relationship to the body will be depicted in a visual format. It will consider, to some extent, theories about the phenomenological unconscious, and the psychoanalytic pre-conscious in relation to embodiment, perceptual awareness, and the way these experiences can become visibly represented, and thus conscious, in a sense, in the exhibition space. It will also consider the concept of the artist as an “experience engineer”.

There will be two aspects to the artwork, the first being a pulse detection system to reference body response, and and a projected image of the audience member that will be transformed in correspondence with their detected pulse. Theories about experience becoming “sedimented” onto the body will be represented by the heartbeat’s relationship with audiences visual perception of themselves, referencing the concept that embodied unconscious memories will affect the way in which the conscious mind perceives its live experience: the heartbeat belongs to the body, but in context of the exhibition space, it is perceived visually by the mind.

Upon entering the space, the audience member will hold an object containing a pulse sensor. A hidden camera will be facing the audience member, who will see themselves projected as a mirror image on the wall facing the entrance. The pulse sensor will transform the image in adding effects that correlate with the pulse. At the same time as this, a hidden proximity sensor will be attached to the camera, and, upon detecting the audience member’s presence, it will influence sounds generated by pure data: the closer the audience member gets to the mirror image/proximity sensor, the louder/faster/higher/lower the sound will become. When the audience member turns around, the second projection will allow them to perceive themselves from behind.

On one level, the pulse influenced image of the audience member will allude to the phenomenological concept of consciousness as body intentionality, and also about experience becoming stored in a kind of body memory. On another level, the proximity influenced audio will allude to the way that the mind perceives its perceptual awareness of its body in its seemingly transparent relation to and experience of the space around it. As such, there are two elements to the project: a) the study of phenomenology, consciousness, and embodiment b) perceptual experience and the role of the artwork making its experience known to its audience.


Ultrasonic or Infrared – Used for audience presence detection to influence sound.
Biometric – Used to detect and read audience heartbeat and transform visual component.

Pure Data…

Starting Pduino
Reverb and Delay
Basic Amplitude Modulation

Seminar Discussion 04: Dourish (2001)

• HCI draws upon human skills and abilities, exploiting familiarity. Because embodiment is present at all times, it is not only necessary but both fundamental to and constitutive of interactive design, transferring social/perceptive phenomena to tangible computing. Embodied phenomena are encountered directly: occurring in real time and space, embodiment is that which happens when a subject’s focussing on another person or object causes them to become unaware of the connecting process (ie. a person writes with a pen; a person shakes hands with another person but is not consciously aware of this embodied object). At this point the person a) momentarily loses focus of his or her own body and b) participates in the embodiment of the connecting object in order to focus on the outcome.

• Familiarity is the central focus with these HCI technologies. For example, metaphors from our real world are used in programmes such as adobe photoshop (paintbrush and pen tool etc.). Dourish outlines a distinct difference between ‘using the real world as metaphor’ and as ‘medium’ in terms of design products or interactive technologies: using the real world as a metaphor involves representations of the real world in afore mentioned programmes, but using it as a medium could concern virtual realities wherein the participant interacts and acts with technology in the real word (the two worlds meet).

• To provide a theoretical backdrop, Dourish turns to phenomenology in a broad sense, that is, objects of consciousness and our mental experiences of those objects. Elaborating on Descartes’ subjective consciousness and its uncertainty about external reality, Dourish reads Husserl’s noema (objects of consciousness) and noesis (our experiences of those objects). In order to examine this, Dourish argues, it is important to recognize that the world assumes the existence of “perceived objects on the basis of perception”; it is the outcome of phenomenology to “explore how the natural attitude comes about in the first place”. Dourish references Husserl’s parallel between acts of perception and objects of perception; to remember something is not the same as to experience it.

In terms of my own research I could relate the concept of embodiment to memory and experience. And also on the practical side through live performance that is connected to forms of media.

Thinking 1 – Applied Philosophy: Philosophy of Technology 1/2

Applied Philosophy: Philosophy of Technology 1 Introduction to Phenomenology Martin Heidegger and the Tool Concept of Embodiment and Immersion Applied Philosophy: Philosophy of Technology 1 Reading Material: Martin Heidegger: Being and Time Applied Philosophy: Philosophy of Technology 2 Don Ihde’s Experimental Phenomenology Paul Dourish’ Embodied Interaction Concept of Embodiment /Disembodiment and Immersion Philosophy of Technology [...]

Thinking 2 – The Philosophy of Experience: Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s approach to consciousness and embodiement

The Philosophy of Experience Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s approach to consciousness and embodiement Reading Material: Page 3-12 PDF Document of the Presentation – Maurice Merleau-Ponty_15Feb12