[-empyre-] setting fire to avatars, collapsing realities

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Jan 18 05:44:18 EST 2014

One thing I'm missing in the discussion, which relates to Johannes' 
comment about dancers w/ mirror - the "as if" for me relates on one hand 
to Vaihingers, and on the other, to what one might call a phenomenology of 
the interior - I'm thinking for example of Alphonso Lingis. I personally 
want to get away from the apparatus into/within the body/consciousness 
itself - not tracking the social, but tracking perhaps (at the outer 
limits) mindful response; Drew Leder's The Absent Body is also good in 
this regard. And somewhere I'm within Scarry's writings as well.

Documenting interactive art is documenting the apparatus, of course and 
tracking the social goes all the way through head-mounted cameras, etc. 
(think of skeleton or luge) - but this is different than immersion, this 
is definition. There's always limited projection; with the pieces 
illustrated here, I can "imagine" myself in the position of the dancer 
etc. but I know from my own work w/ dance/music, that the complexity of 
immersion doesn't lend itself to analytics, no matter how fine the raster. 
I'm not arguing for a romanticized body here, but just the recognition 
that the 'bruteness' of the body is surplus, mind-felt - even symptoms 
which are almost never mentioned - health or sickness of the viewer or 
participant, things like aches, tinnitus (which I have and which is 
screaming now), muscle pains, headaches, injuries, etc. Do we produce, 
then, for an idealized "healthy" body or perhaps (if we're working with 
specialized audiences) for bodies defined by defined unhealth?

For me these aren't idle questions, given the pain so many go through just 
to find a bite to eat for example -

- Alan

On Fri, 17 Jan 2014, Johannes Birringer wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks Alan for commenting on the " immersive and definable hierarchies" 
> in regard to screen/virtuality - do you believe that feeling "as if" one 
> were "there" is something that can be analyzed in terms of Katja's 
> reception/applied aesthetics, based on receiver-participant evidence 
> (interviews, reports, recordings, documentation, etc)? how is 
> interactive art documented by the way? how do we track the social?

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