If meaning is taken as a structure of perception as part of one's ongoing actions (Berthoz) and instantiated in an ongoing set of the same, what happens it technology interfaces these in a manner to alter their solidity? Where do we exist in these patterns if the perception of our physical personal limits are opened by a relation to technology? Technology plays with the patterns that are our meaning structures, causing their dissolution, or does it just cause and allow for greater alteration and change of those patterns? We can envision the world aided by the internet as a mass of concurrent patterns originally based in correlation to the geographic as we consider our perceptions to be and focused perhaps around a performance event, but does the nature of technology actually loose these patterns creating a new global mix? The outcome of these alterations is that the nature of our realities becomes more inclusive to the individual and more accessible to the integral balance of the individual as a set of dynamics, hopefully replacing and improving upon older knowledge structures and introducing new paradigms.
I could ask this question in relation to art, a form of cultural framing that deals with spatial orientation, and often in performance with a rapidly and finely changing correlation to one's perceptual reference. Dance as a performance indicative of four dimensional time, and the viewing of the body and its environment as dynamics is considered most suitable. What occurs when we loose our ties to personal semantic orientations in which we relate, and are related to as grounded beings in the limits that are "form" in an ongoing semantic orientation? What is our bodily reference if not through these patterns? We need a communicative reference for a proximal individual in a larger whole and where is this whole? In looking at the dynamics that demarkates the individual and the whole do we find our impetus for a creative impulse replete with a "consciousness" built on the phenomenon of our perceptual orientation? Indeed where is the art as a concept if we continually reference beyond the shape of an accepted loci as pattern or design for pleasure to a changing one, a personally engaged one? Are we opening the site where measures of culture are created? Are we loosening the groundings for where we perceive of time and space that create these measures as technology plays with the basis of cultural measures, light, sound, electromagnetics etc.?
Asking these questions helps to illustrate what technology may do best which is to better reference the integrity of the individual and their environments as an active ongoing mix of dynamics. By doing so we might better relate to an environment in more direct actions as coordinates. This move from a continual focus on a semantic fixture to a focus on continual change offers a new paradigm for communication as a function of creativity.It frees the interactive function from the grounded aligning of semantics that is communication. It may lend itself to nonlinear mappings where continual changing input is altered by the change to the environment in which these iterations occur.
Finally, we can perceive of the mixing of various kinds of orientations as engaged by these technologies ie neurological as well as perceptual. This may alter the notion of an inner and outer person and aid in the clarification of the notion of person. The implications of this line of questioning might also be the better visualization of the ongoing changes occurring in human orientation to a global interaction, not only in a freeing of individual semantics as a reflection of individual choice and view but also the orientation of other measures of structure and biology. One of the outcomes of these changes is that one can see where the social structures built on the reification of semantics that maintain our institutions, the support of shared semantics whether labelled health, or policies for new media might be seen as being integrated into this more reliable mix of actions, the mapping and realigning of patterns and actions as technology gives us a purview of the globe and the more intrinsic actions possible upon it.
Alain Berthoz, The Brain's Sense of Movement; translated by Giselle Weiss.Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
About the Author(s)
Susan Aaron is a writer and researcher dealing with culture and technology based in Toronto. Her work has been presented at the Banff New Media Institute, Congress of the Social Science and Humanities, International Dance and Technology Conference 1999, Chaos in Psychology and the Life Sciences and the New England Complex Systems Institute. Her most recent publication is in World Futures. She has an MA from the University of Toronto.
Alphabetical list of papers, by author
Alphabetical list of panels