What Actually Is Interaction? When Does it Start and Where Does It End?


Session Title:

  • Performance (Panels & Roundtables)

Presentation Title:

  • What Actually Is Interaction? When Does it Start and Where Does It End?




  • Was it interaction? What is the difference between interaction and engagement? What is required to call a process that is happening, at least in a physiological or psychological way, interaction? Is this a way to understand Itsuo Sakane asserting that ‘all arts can becalled interactive in a deep sense, if one considers viewing and interpreting a work of art as a kind of participation’ (cited in Velonaki and Rye 2010). Interaction is being explored from a range of different perspectives, including a renewed interest in embodiedcognition (e.g., van Dijk & Frens at Creativity &Cognition 2011) which emphasizes the fundamental role of the body in enabling cognition. The body also has some sort of in between role mediating between cognition and the environment which means there are cognitive and embodied aspects to any kind of interaction. Depending on the disciplinary background, interaction may mean very different things to different people (Haque et al 2009). Interaction with a painting or a photograph appears to be different from interaction with an audience. Does the Mona Lisa look at you? Does Marcel Duchamp’s declaration, “The spectator makes the picture” (Rokeby 1995) help us  with evaluation in human computer interaction (HCI)? Höök et al 2003 discuss some of the difficulties of relating ‘traditional’ HCI evaluation methods esp. usability testing to digital art. Interaction design (eg Preece2011) helps build ‘applied’ bridges between different disciplines by offering evaluation methods that go beyond technical contexts but do not actually answer the question as to what constitutes interaction eg when does it make sense to speak of ‘interaction’? We are interested in sharing conceptualisations of interaction and learning from each other and hope to identify key issues and provide a roadmap for future research whichcrosses disciplinary boundaries.