Interactivity and the Problem of Communication in the Context of Philosophy of Deconstruction


Session Title:

  • Interactivity (The Next Generation)

Presentation Title:

  • Interactivity and the Problem of Communication in the Context of Philosophy of Deconstruction



  • Abstract

    One of the basic points in the philosophy of Jacques Derrida is that the logocentric and phono-centric approach to text, language, communication, and interpretation, is predominant in the Western culture. This approach consists of the assertion that the being of any entity is always determined as presence. It means that the sense always precedes any kind of its objective appearance. To interpret the text one has to decipher its sense, which is already present and ready to be understood. The sense is different from the text, and situated “outside” it . As its foundation, the sense prevails the text. The text is only a neutral, transparent vehicle that carries the sense. The classic type of interpretation reduces the text to the representation and/or expression of the ultimate truth of the text, or the author’s intention. The communication means then the transmission of sense/meaning from one subject to another. The transmitted meaning should not (or cannot) be changed in the process of communication. Like text, communication is inseparably connected with the function of representation and expression. The thought precedes and runs the communication, which carries ideas, meanings, and contents. One communicates only what has already been known. All kinds of texts are treated in this traditional way, which is extremely inadequate in the case of interactive media art. If one tries to deal with this kind of art as an extension of the author’s artistic intention, all the innovative aspects of the interactive art are being lost.

    According to Derrida, the text (the work of art) must be liberated from dependence on the sense. The structure of the text, the process of shaping it, comes to the focus. The reading of the text displaces the reading of the sense. The text encourages a new form of interpretation, the one closer to a play than to the hermeneutic approach. As the interpretation of the text, the process of communication has to become the play (with the rules and roles not necessarily fixed). The “interactive communication” is free from the function of representation, expression, from the intention and contents preceding the act of communication. It is also liberated from the references to the author and the recipient (understood as fixed identities), displaced by the roles of players . The sense of the communication is created in the process of play. This new
    “interactive” communication is an essentially creative form of activity, a kind of “active interpretation”, which accepts its “unfinishness”,incompleteness, instability.