Digital Reality and the Perception of Self II

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Alternative Approaches to Representing Knowledge in the Human Environment by Lee Boot, Stacy Arnold, and David Gurzick/ An Amorphous Image Process by Kevin Sarmiento Navarro/ Towards [Co-authoring] Communitas: The facilitation of becoming through the use of technology within public / community arts practice by Anita McKeown/ Make it visible! by Fabio Fornasari and Sveva Avveduto/ What Would We Mean By Realism? by Amanda Beech
Sunday, 18 September, 2011 - 17:00 - 18:20
Chair Person: 
Lorenzo Taiuti
Lee Boot
Stacy Arnold
David Gurzick
Kevin Sarmiento Navarro
Anita McKeown
Fabio Fornasari
Sveva Avveduto
Amanda Beech

Alternative Approaches to Representing Knowledge in the Human Environment

by Lee Boot, Stacy Arnold, and David Gurzick

How is knowledge represented in the media and the physical environments that surrounding us? What messages are best funded, most promoted, or presented in the most sophisticated ways? Which ideas become culturally resonant and affective? The impact of our knowledge environments is coming to the surface as economies become increasingly information-driven and as facing our global challenges relies on informing political will with good data and analysis. On another scale, there are implications for the personal relationships to knowledge that drive life choices made by individuals. A transdisciplinary approach is suggested to reinvent our knowledge environments to best serve both individual and societal aspirations. This paper will share findings and perspectives, generated over ten years of research to discover new possibilities in this area.

A working partnership between the US-based Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and InfoCulture, a media research and development studio has produced promising results with an approach that leverages some timeless qualities of art (i.e., the use of metaphor, ambiguity, story and other ways of making meaning out of raw information) to re-imagine non-fiction communication in a variety of venues and using a range of technologies. These efforts can be differentiated from trends in activist and relational art practice in that their impacts are measured using sophisticated quantitative and qualitative methods—often contributing to new thinking in those science domains. Findings suggest that discourse, informed by approaches that originated in the arts and the social sciences, and which takes form in combinations of both new and old media and communication technologies, has the potential to increase people’s engagement with knowledge that holds value for them. Projects to be discussed include: a feature film that used public sculpture practice to create metaphors for science-based ideas about what produces wellbeing; a social network that used films created by a collaboration between adolescent and professional filmmakers to drive conversation about what young people think helps them engage in learning (or not); a health blog that quickly built membership by telling stories that revealed the cultural conflicts inherent in discussions about health.

An Amorphous Image Process

by Kevin Sarmiento Navarro

This creative and constructive process is based on a different approach toward thinking, in admitting if the image to build expects to determine what reality is and what amorphous reality is, or to produce a series of “images” with a correlation into an amorphous concept. The possibilities are endless, because amorphous thinking in visual terms is an inextricably bound up with sensation and perception. In many ways, how we think is how we see and vice versa. The same mechanisms operated on both the perceptual and the intellectual level, so, these inevitably terms like concept, judgement and conclusion, have to be applied to the work of senses on the use of a method for an amorphous image creation.

Process art attitude may be direct as far as possible toward the perception of “image as such” and closer as possible toward a perception of “amorphous”, to visualize a conception of boundary and form, a brewing scenario for an intuitive vision of an amorphous space, a lapse of time of constant flux where energy and information coming into existence, light and shadow, harmony, a form of animism, the unpredictable on the observer visual sense, the emptiness of absolute identity, an 'inherent existence' – perceived and thought to exist 'from their own side' exactly as it appear.

In the process of creating, the image environment has the constructive idea of “amorphous space”, to create the capacity of finding different approaches, generating themes around space and time, thus springing the changes where the image shape is subdued by the external elements that make it.

Amorphous *thinking* in the form of amorphous images, will transform those amorphous spaces resembling a boundary that never exists inside of it; observer only will see a bit of an image that cause his senses to produce images that make visualize amorphous image shapes.


 An amorphous image process as the begins of an endless line of continuous transformation of an image place, a mirror image space for everyone image event, continuing without stopping, or being interrupted in space or time.

Towards [Co-authoring] Communitas: The facilitation of becoming through the use of technology within public / community arts practice

by Anita McKeown

In Aristolian Philosophy the process of change from a lower level of potentiality to the higher level of actuality is known as becoming. Maslow  refers to this process as self-actualisation, or to become more and more of what one is or capable of becoming.  

The paper will firstly outline the importance of liminal spaces for this process through an introduction to Jungian psychology and the concept of individuation and Maslow's heirarchy and self-actualisation.

The paper will then consider the  potential of Digital Media, particularly open source software / culture within public / community arts practice for its potential to contribute to this process, through its inherent liminal qualities and the liminal spaces it can create.

Make it visible!

by Fabio Fornasari and Sveva Avveduto

The physical world as we know it, has been completed. Jules Verne had imagined it and addressed his trips along the vertical line.

Science has made another trip along the vertical axis, no longer gravity, but from outside to inside the matter.

We live in a ‘world in between’ and we built images of the world itself. Over the past 500 years we lived in a world of authorship, images were made by an ‘authorship’ production.

Using digital technologies we reach a dimension of ‘imagination’ and production of images, interaction with the world. Our consciousness our individuality lies not only in our brain, but in the world as we represent it. The representations of our worlds (Topography/topology) stands as many archives of contemporary art, as maps centered on a body/memory extended to technologies that we possess. Looking at each of us, we can identify contemporary ROUTES-TRACKS that we can FOLLOW and READ to acknowledge the TIME–MOMENT we are living.

The paper that we present is about an application that is like a source that makes visible phantasmagorically all this. EXPLORATION-TRIP in the world becomes a way of drinking at that SOURCE/ARCHIVE which allows to LOOSE-FIND representations of consciousness of people who have filed them. A social network where one describes his self-representation in placing in a determinate point, the GPS location of his own contemporary that can be shared with others.

The mode READING-SHARING is offered by an algorithm that MELTS all different visions of territory to become an ATLAS-REPRESENTATION of visions like a CORTICAL IMAGE.
And in this sense, it makes the INVISIBLE, VISIBLE.

The paper presents the first results of a joint research project, that aims at studying and producing objects to implement new models of art in education and new perspectives on art.

The specific part we present is a medium, a narrative technology in constant progress and evolution.

Representing in a narrative path gives us the experimentation field to test and verify connections between social space and the construction of world images through the building and perception of specific language in the narrative dimension of research.

What Would We Mean By Realism?

Amanda Beech

Both Lenin’s and Althusser’s materialist anti-humanism attempts to think through a politics of society with a strong comprehension of an inorganic world as prescient to this politics. More recently this legacy has been worked through the philosophy of Alain Badiou, Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier, where in particular, the idea that the world is ‘for us’ is understood as the tired fantasy of an anthropocentric humanism, that fails to move beyond the status quo of neo-Kantian philosophy, and fixes itself within the problematic mythology that self-understanding produces emancipation. This paper also takes this anti-humanism as its ground to ask how speculative realisms may be in fact proposed by the image and explores what conception of the social this operation of the image produces now. If the causal ties between artwork and world are no longer connected or guaranteed, then what conception of the artwork and the social is now drawn? If a technology of the image as some manifest fiction of our lives is not the focus of our fascination then what is this world of images without us? Working across Meillassoux and Davidson this paper explores the conditions of the relation or non-relation between image and its referents as well as what might be our expectations for art’s effective and affective potential.