Haptic Media Across Cultures

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Session Title:

  • Education/Media (Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Haptic Media Across Cultures

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Abstract:

  • The paper presents how mobile and ubiquitous technologies add new layers to the arsenal of medias potential for perceptional manipulation. This shift deeply affects and changes our impression of place, pleasure and identity. Experiments with haptic, wearable and GPS enabled technologies enable new corporal sensations and sensitivities that pose new possibilities, but also challenges to how we understand the world. Through a practice based approach, rooted in media arts, the paper describes how this new media reality can literally be grasped and applied to manipulate our impression of the world. Experiments with haptic, wearable and GPS enabled technologies enable new corporal sensations and sensitivities that pose new aesthetic possibilities. Emerging physical connections between humans and the Internet become new sensory organs that challenge the corporality of how we literally grasp and understand our environment. This both adds to and extends well beyond McLuhans audiovisual phenomenology. His quote that the medium is an extension of ourselves’ was based on the experience with the electric technology of radio and television (McLuhan, 2001). Now haptic telepresence and global, realtime networks add yet a new layer to media, promising to impact our very physiognomy, but also cultural production of meanings of touch.To understand these changes induced by perceptional manipulative media, I will first present mobile, haptic artistic projects such as the Psychoplastics experiment (2010 ‑ present), then discuss how this impacts us in different cultures. The author has here worked with women in Iran to map cultural differences in how touch can be experienced in order to produce changed perceptions of the world. In the context of ISEA2014 the paper will present both the utopian and critical issues of how these emerging technological possibilities add to media that manipulate our perceptions of the world as well as across eastern and western cultures.

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