[ISEA2011] Paper: Nancy Mauro-Flude – Vessels for infinite veracity: theatre machines and the body

Abstract

The everyday silent conversation that we carry on when perceiving with our proprioceptive facilities, is it a continuous ideokinetic dialogue, for instance, when the hand readily navigates the space between the fingers and the keys on the computer?

The complexities of culture shape the individual, the ongoing interchange between the body and the machinic & humanoid entities that surround it can be seen as a form of an expanded software script. Both the internal patterns and habitus which illuminate the body’s lived experience and the designs of information systems are to a large extent shaped by cultural, political and economic interests. Transferring information into systems and managing machine language communication is a learnt practice and ritual that one has to monitor, just as there are idiokinetic techniques that are often used for longevity and kinetic practices used to imagine ones own self, as a vessel of infinite veracity. I reflect upon the internal micro choices and actions our automated nervous system performs every moment of our living existence, which plays a large part of the instrumental process of learning a new set of movements, tools or even machine operation for managing processes.

Recent developments in nanotechnology, virtual world simulation and high-definition industry standards, for the most part, conjure up a strange sort of vanity based on form and surface, which becomes more and more removed from embodied human complexity and requires virtually no interaction or maintenance from the user.

We experience our world as fabric woven together out of inextricable sensory threads, not as individual sensory media, nor as individual data. The human form is ephemeral, not concrete and never quite what we think, I ask what this all means for daily modes of engagement and embodiment with an electronic medium whilst referring historically to how objects, props and machines have long been emblematic of deception, trickery, charlatanism and healing (often combined) in many cultures.

  • Nancy Mauro-Flude, Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, Australia¬†sister0.org