Drawing on post-phenomenological philosophy of technology, this discusses the flow of experiences through and into new media artworks, and the implications the directions and volumes of these flows may have to interpretation, theory and criticism of new media art. The paper will focus on new media artworks which can be described as transforming our ways of experiencing and/or constituting anew that which is being experienced. The artworks, which can be described as going ‘beyond mediation’ shift the locus of significance from its traditional position. They challenge the traditional notions of e.g. ‘dialogue’ or ‘interaction’ as the artistic material and/or primary mode of engagement with a new media artwork and call for call for new hermeneutics to be understood and criticized. Relevant questions include: what kind of worlds do these artworks constitute, and, what are the conditions under which we can perceive them Ihde (1)(2) describes a project he calls “a phenomenology of technics” as the attempt to explain the intentionality relationships between humans, technological artefacts and the world. Ihde explains how technologies like eyeglasses, windows, thermometers, vending machines, looking glasses and computers situate in the intentionality relations between humans and the world, distinguishing for example between those embodied and/or hermeneutic technologies ‘through which’ our experience goes into the world, and those technologies, which constitute a “terminus of experience” (6) for a human. Ihde’s framework has been later adjusted and amended by Selinger (4) and Verbeek (5)(6) to account for technologies which not only mediate or terminate human experiences, but can also fundamentally and corporeally shape the ways in which the world appears to us. This intentionality relations framework will be used to analyse both contemporary and archaeological examples. The analysis will support the postulation of new frameworks for the interpretation and critique of new media art, and help re-conceptualise the relationship, or, the “dance of agency” (3) between the artist, the audience and other entities that share the responsibility for the existence of the artwork.
- Ihde, D. : Technology and the lifeworld: from garden to earth. Indiana UP, 1990
- Ihde, D. : A Phenomenology of Technics. In Philosophy of Technology. The Technological Condition. An Anthology. Edited by Schargg, R. C. and Dusek, V. Chichester: Blackwell Publishing, 2003, 507—529
- Pickering, A. : The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency and Science. University of Chicago Press, 1995
- Selinger, E., ed.: Postphenomenology: A Critical Companion to Ihde. SUNY Press, 2006
- Verbeek, P. : “Devices of Engagement: On Borgmann’s Philosophy of Information and Technology.” Techne: Research in Philosophy and Technology 6(1) 2002
- Verbeek, P. : “Cyborg intentionality: Rethinking the phenomenology of human/technology relations.” Phenom Cogn Sci, 7 2008, 387—395
- Olli Tapio Leino, City University of Hong Kong, HK, is a new media scholar focusing on interactive art and computer games from the perspectives of critical ludology, philosophy of technology and existential phenomenology.
- Lau Ho Chi, City University of Hong Kong, HK
Full text (PDF) p. 381-385 [title slightly different]