FleshFactor FleshFactor


FleshFactor: mechanistic baggage

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

Concerning Richard Brown's FleshFactor message: I don't agree with some
of what Richard wrote:

       "The role of mind, body and spirit in interactive art". 

   and "The body hosts the mind".

These are such classic statements.  We need to be more efficient in the
way we are spreading our ideas and never again should we present the
analytical paradigm that the whole is made simply by the addition of the
parts.  In the heart of a system, the quality of the parts and their tasks
disappear when they are working.  The whole is more than the sum of its
parts.  The whole is comprised of the multitude of connections within. 
When we are connected, our sensorial apparatus experiences a complex
process of mutations, imprevisibilities, dissipations in a integrated
sensorial circuit of "trompe les sens" that gives back to us new
identities changing our self-image and identity.  The interfaces are
synthetic skins, and like skins they receive, process and give back to us
new behaviour patterns regenerating ourselves.

What matters is the relationship existing between the several sources of
information and what results from this dialogue.  So, if we believe in the
second natural environment, in networked artificial systems, the human
body is in a symbiosis with technological/artificial/natural life,
interfacing with the physical/real and virtual/digital.  We must never
repeat the separation of body, mind and spirit.  This is a definition from
the mechanistic paradigm.  We must delete this old classification from our
discourse and only speak about the BODY.  Considering the body as a
biological system, the FLESH apparatus as an intelligent system that is
linked with the whole cosmos.  Mind, consciousness and spirit are the
software of this intelligent body.  By being part of the system they are
implicit in the the body's holistic natural condition. 

On the other hand, I like Richard's idea about Interactive Art (IA) 
putting theory into practice.  I agree, artists are enhancing theoretical
paths via IA.  Interactive art are offering a real 'show room' for
scientific research.  People from science work in a happy and friendly
collaboration with us because they can catch their thoughts in our pieces. 
A real collaboration between artists and technicians can determine the
system's behaviour and control of the physical phenomena. 

We seek to offer a strong behavioral dimension with Interactive Art.  We
manipulate the technological sublime (Mario Costa) or the absolutely BIG:
our physical condition and limits enhanced and expanded by
technologies...the planetary existence...the call to the mind to manage
our rational superiority, pleasures, fears, hopes.  Our biological
apparatus receiving ultrahuman power (Teillard de Chardin), the superior
consciousness.  And the artists always seek to exceed (ex-cedere), to go
beyond the limits.  This is exciting, amazing and stimulating for the
scientists and technicians. The sciences in the end of this century have
increasingly demonstrated an interest in the spiritualism of their
theoretical approach.

Interactive Art is really humanizing technologies.  To see, to touch, to
sensually experience algorithms, infrared waves, to capture invisible
forces giving them visibility, to check organic laws give us many
experiences of consciousness-propagation in a symbiosis of
organic/inorganic life in this post-biological era...  Interactive Art
embodies traces of biological systems.  Plants, human body signals: 
gestures, speeches, breath, heat, natural noises, water--all these
biological phenomena are being translated into computerized paradigms. 
The body lives and unfolds out of itself during these connections. 

I believe in the next couple of years, people will normally and matter of
factly use computer interfaces in all aspects of their lives and they will
interact more and more.  The interactions will intensify and will be
rather TV-like, to use an analogy to our contemporary technological
reality.  New biological interfaces will be facilitated as permanent
prostheses are attached on us and into our bodies and thus we will be
reinventing our lives and the ultimate nature of our species. 

Diana Domingues

Universidade de Caxias do Sul - Brazil

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