[ISEA2011] Paper: Kathrine Elizabeth Anker – A Cybersemiotic Approach to Technoetic Arts: new vocabularies in transdisciplinary research


Contemporary, technoetic arts (art, technology and consciousness), that oscillate between analogue and digital technologies, often approach a situation, that in many ways resembles transdisciplinary research. It integrates elements from numerous fields of science, technology and philosophy in interactive environments, that can be a challenge to frame within a verbal interpretation. In this paper, I focus upon the relationship between technoetic interfaces and user contemplation. The Cybersemiotic framework is a theoretical approach (2005/English translation, 2008) to semiotics, which is based on a further development of Information Science, Cybernetics, Social Systems Theory, Biosemiotics, phenomenology and Peircian semiotics. Cybersemiotics delivers a range of new terms that can successfully address the multiple, looped, dynamic processes of communication that lie in the interfaces of contemporary technoetic art communications. This gives an opportunity not only to experience interactive arts at the level of embodied presence, but to also intellectualize and name a combination of multisensory and symbolic experiences in ways, that can contribute to the development of adequate vocabularies concerning the integration of art, science, technology and philosophy in general. I will present central terms from the cybersemiotic framework and demonstrate their use in “readings” of contemporary, high quality, technoetic artworks. The aim is to both extract knowledge from the works, as well as to broaden the potential of “self-understanding” that they present to us. The cybersemiotic framework has been developed by Danish Professor of Semiotics, Søren Brier, who is the founder of the Journal “Cybernetics and Human Knowing”, and who has received the Warren McCulloch Award from the American Society for Cybernetics in 2008 in line with Gregory Bateson, Gordon Pask, Francisco Varela, Humberto Maturana and other central developers of the cybernetic paradigm. Artworks will be: Blue Morph (2007) by Artist Victoria Vesna and Nano Scientist James Gimsewski, and the electro-kinetic sculpture, Hylozoic Grove  (2008), by Architect Phillip Beesley.

  • Kathrine Elizabeth Anker is a writer, a cultural theorist, and an independent researcher. She holds a Master in Modern Culture and Cultural Communication from the University of Copenhagen, and is currently a PhD student at the Center of Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, Planetary Collegium, Plymouth University, UK. She has published numerous articles mainly concerned with technoetic arts and consciousness with a focus on embodiment. Her current project carries the title: Subject and Aesthetic Interface – an inquiry into transformed subjectivities. The project is concerned with questions of how artistic mixed- and augmented reality interfaces can be seen as communicational forms that appeal to transformed ways of understanding the human subject. She places a particular emphasis on the noetic side of the human mind, and combines approaches related to the natural, the human and the social sciences. Kathrine’s work is transdisciplinary, philosophical and speculative. It integrates Philosophy of Science, Cybersemiotics (Brier, 2008), biosemiotics, and case studies of Interactive Art Installations in an original way.Kathrine is also educated as a Pedagogue of Music and Movement, with an emphasis on the relation between sensory-motor skill, perception and intellectual processes in learning situations. This adds a practical background relating to the phenomenological questions involved in the project.

Full text (PDF) p. 103-108