MIND YOUR MEDIUM!!!
“What our bodies are like and how they function in the world…structure the very concepts we can use to think.”
- Lakoff and Johnson
A little software runs in the background of your computer. It captures you, alone with your machine, at work and at play.
“I think, therefore I am” Descartes said all those years ago, and we still trudge along this path. Our technology may have evolved light-years ahead but somehow our way of thinking stutters. One might think that the impending ecological catastrophes that our way of being in the world has brought about would challenge our way of thought, but explorations such as Mind-Uploading (a hypothetical process by which you upload your scanned brain to the computer and it functions exactly the same, now sans body) suggests that we continue a train of thought that allows for an existence outside of our bodies, our mortality, our nature.
Our knowledge is inextricably linked to our body, to our sensory perceptions of the world. Our fingers remember numbers and keys even when our minds do not. “You can never forget how to ride a bike.” Contemporary work patterns often discount the embodied nature of knowledge, treating the human body as a vessel to be accommodated while the mind does all the work.
Part software-based online interaction, part participative research project, part digital sensory archive, the project aims to understand the embodied nature of digital work, and the role of the body, new media, and the body’s physical surroundings in mediating knowledge work.
Inspired by the work of Joseph Dumit and Sarah McCullough: ‘sitzfleish,’ (in German, “sitting flesh”). Their project explores the embodied nature of knowledge work, considering issues of body placement, physical environment, and endurance in the construction of written knowledge.
+ How does the use of new media alter our relationships to our bodies? As we work, communicate, and play through and with the computer, how do these often assumed “disembodied” experiences affect our relationships and intimacies to people, spaces, object, and ourselves?
+ What role do our bodies play in machine-aided production? Beyond the eyes and the typing fingers, how do our appendages and movements affect our experiences and the knowledge, culture, and communication we produce?
+ How can we evoke a different sort of relationship between bodies and computers that positions us more intimately in our physical space and physical body?