Networked Affect from the Digital Self to the Avatar Bodies

Look at the Other at Ugly Duck
BookS

Networked Affect ” Edited by Ken Hillis, Susanna Paasonen and Michael Petit

Main Library collection 004.6 NET

The contributors investigate networked affect in terms of intensity, sensation, and value. They explore online intensities that range from Tumblr practices in LGBTQ

communities to visceral reactions to animated avatars; examine the affective materiality of software in such platforms as steampunk culture and nonprofit altporn; and analyze the ascription of value to online activities including the GTD (“getting things done”) movement and the accumulation of personal digital materials.

Bodies in Technology by Don Ihde

Main Library collection 303.4833 IHD

exploration of the ways cyberspace affects human experience. abstract Reviewed by Maureen Nappi

Ihde is interested in exploring how our sense of embodied self is transformed via contemporary technology”….”Here Ihde seizes on the distinction between the real and the virtual, and from that distinction he develops both a phenomenology of embodiment (whereby technology corrects or enhances the perceptual faculties of the body) and a phenomenology of disembodiment (whereby technology projects and objectifies the [End Page 837] body). Ihde is particularly interested in disembodiment because it underlies the notion of a “virtual” body, which involves a kind of visualization of the body as generated by various technologies. in-class “thought experiment” that he uses to elicit his students to articulate their sense of the non-technological virtual body. The assignment: to imagine themselves jumping out of an airplane. Their responses, Ihde points out, fall into one of two possible categories: either the student imagines an “embodied” perspective [End Page 77] of self as actor, which Ihde refers to as the “here-body”—a present-tense version of a “‘be here now’ body,” -or- the student imagines a disembodied perspective of self as observer of the self as actor, that is, “already a kind of virtual body in a nontechnological projection.” 

The Fabric of Interface Mobile Media, Design, and Gender By Stephen Monteiro

Monteiro goes on to argue that the capacity of textile metaphors to describe computing (weaving code, threaded discussions, zipped files, software patches, switch fabrics) represents deeper connections between digital communication and what has been called “homecraft” or “women’s work.

Connecting networked media to practices that seem alien to media technologies, Monteiro identifies handicraft and textile techniques in the production of software and hardware, and cites the punched cards that were read by a loom’s rods as a primitive form of computer memory; examines textual and visual discourses that position the digital image as a malleable fabric across its production, access, and use; compares the digital labor of liking, linking, and tagging to such earlier forms of collective production as quilting bees and piecework; and describes how the convergence of intimacy and handiwork at the screen interface, combined with needlecraft aesthetics, genders networked culture and activities in unexpected ways.

Software and Memory

New media thrives on cycles of obsolescence and renewal: from celebrations of cyber-everything to Y2K, from the dot-com bust to the next big things—mobile mobs, Web 3.0, cloud computing. In Programmed Visions, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argues that these cycles result in part from the ways in which new media encapsulates a logic of programmability. New media proliferates “programmed visions,” which seek to shape and predict—even embody—a future based on past data. These programmed visions have also made computers, based on metaphor, metaphors for metaphor itself, for a general logic of substitutability.

Chun argues that the clarity offered by software as metaphor should make us pause, because software also engenders a profound sense of ignorance: who knows what lurks behind our smiling interfaces, behind the objects we click and manipulate? The combination of what can be seen and not seen, known (knowable) and not known—its separation of interface from algorithm and software from hardware—makes it a powerful metaphor for everything we believe is invisible yet generates visible, logical effects, from genetics to the invisible hand of the market, from ideology to culture.

ArticleS

Article Understanding your digital Self by Tamara J Hicks Psy.D.

Darknets

(Wikipedia ) in general may be used for various reasons.

Starting to render

After Session 3 with Helen Pritchard,

sort out all that matters in circle around The Subject :

Network, Visual dominance , Identity, Mask, Memory, Futur, VR, Affect, Perception, Body/Brain, Ubiquity, Interaction, Power/Control and Bio Politics, Creative process, Objectification, Potential, Expectation, Tension, the Other, the Self, Mirror, Transversality, Feed, Shape Memory, Hyperobject

and find that the title of the essay could be … the Network as the Ultimate Mask (of the Self) or the Mask of the Network

 

Alternatives to increased networking of the digital media, Chaos and creativity

In conclusion to her talk with Richard Grusin and Clemens Apprich at Transmediale 2017 in Berlin, theorist of digital media and Prof Wendy Chun challenges artists to create viable alternatives in response to the increased networking of our digital world and the elusiveness of mediation.
Invoking art as an “agent perturbateur” is interesting as it calls for challenging established rules before creating as it means chaos before emergence of a new order. In a very Simondian way, it is looking for tensions. It is waking up from the delusions we have created ourselves and break the infinite feedback loop we are living in. Life is not linear , seldom logical. Why trying to fit so hard in a logical system which leads ultimately to segregation? Chun ’s answer is homophily or “tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others”(Wikipedia).

W.Chun defines how networks are structured by habits and homophily and how habits are shaped and embodied into a monogamous network environment based on similarities , likes and dislikes. “We become our machines”. As Richard Grusin tells us too, not only the present but also all potential futures are pre-mediated and expectations are pre-formatted by algorithms. To reduce segregation induced by homophily, W.Chun invites us to foster another type of network where clusters would be mutual indifferences rather than likeness.
“Homophily create clusters, it is about collaborative filtering, similarities breeds connection. What matters, it is that people likes you, who follows you. Network not only finds connections but also create them for us”.
According to W.Chun, we are living in a world auto-fed by continuous updates ignited by crisis over habits and dependencies embodied in our environment. We are“creatures of the update. To be is to be updated: to update and to be subjected to the update.” (Chun , Habitual New Media, p12). She also warns us that updates means erase the old and replace it by the new. “Things no longer updated are things no longer used, usable, or cared for, even though updates often ‘save’ things by literally”.

According to W.Chun, in a world defined by networks, we are like any other variables : defined or used by functions. As such, in order to create viable alternatives, not only we would have to resist to homophily but also our needs for belonging and our quest for a definite identity /value.
W.Chun recognizes creativity’s existence in the network system and quotes Elisabeth Grosz : “Habits enables stability, which in turn gives us the time and space needed to be truly creative: without habit there could be no thinking, no creativity and no freedom.” But I would say, not only. Chaos is also another reliable source for creativity.
If we were to create another system, where clusters are not relying on similarities, it could be an open system where input could have no output, where the equation input/output is broken, a system where the traveling salesman problem is solved by optimising the order of visits to several places in a way that the total route is not as short as possible, but the longest.
It would be a permanent chaotic process, where solutions are morphing from one to another, not an infinite loop of updates, but infinite explorations, not only going forward and vertically but also backwards, transversally and horizontally, because the world is not binary, the world is wonderfully messy (Kathleen Vohs). Certainly, not everyone is ready for this. As W.Chun and R.Grusin suggested, artists could find alternatives to the over-controlled networks system as chaos is part of their creative process. About pre-mediated expectations and order over messiness : creativity flows even better when there is no expectations.

Other propositions to break the loop and paths for researching :

Continue reading Alternatives to increased networking of the digital media, Chaos and creativity

VR embodiement

How to build an embodiment lab: achieving body representation illusions in virtual reality

  1. the illusion of being inside the computer simulation and with the ability to act there
  2. replace the participant’s body with a virtual body
  3. alter the participant’s sense of body ownership and agency
  4. head tracking versus body tracking

“HMD-based systems since these are the most appropriate for body ownership illusions (BOIs). HMDs display an image for each of the participant’s eyes, which are fused by the human visual system to produce stereoscopic images.”…..

“Core Virtual Embodiment System :

We distinguish between a set of core modules required for the production of 1PP views of a virtual body, and additional modules that can be added to provide multimodal stimulation and physiological measurement. The core modules necessary for creating 1PP views of a virtual body are:

• A VR module that handles the creation, management, and rendering of all virtual entities. This module also serves as the integration point for all other modules.

• A head-tracking module, which maps the head movements of the participant to the virtual camera, updating the viewpoint of the virtual world as in the real world.

• A display module, which consists of the hardware devices used to display the VE.”