[ISEA2011] Paper: Josefina Lopez Aguayo — New Media Art Installations As Cognitive Spaces: An Approach From The Perspective Of Distributed Cognition


Do all artefacts hold the same cognitive load? Are art installations, using new technologies, cognitive to the same extent as other spaces or technological artefacts? New media art installations are not aimed at usability. They turn into artefacts that generate spaces where what has been produced is a result of the worldview of the artist.

The theory of distributed cognition, developed formally by Hutchins and his colleagues, is a view of cognitive science which shares the idea that cognition is not situated in the thinking agent. By contrast, knowledge is regarded as a construction that emerges through contact with the artefacts to which people are related. According to this theory the person is an active not a passive agent, and it is also argued that spaces are spaces of distributed memory. On this basis one can infer a cognitive relationship between people and technology, where the latter refers to what human beings have produced as an extension of themselves. Consequently, cognitive artefacts can be understood as “physical objects made by humans for the purpose of aiding, enhancing, or improving cognition.” The present analysis seeks to distinguish between technological cognitive artefacts and cognitive technological art artefacts. We discuss whether all cognitive artefacts have the same properties in relation to the creation of cognition.

  • Josefina Lopez Aguayo, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain, is currently a PhD research fellow in Estudios Avanzados en Producciones Artísticas at the UB where she is taking part in a R+D research project. She received a master of Philosophy degree in Filosofia Contemporánea: Tendencias y Debates, organized by the Depart-ment of Philosophy at the UAB. She received a master of Philosophy degree in Estética y Teoría del Arte Contemporáneo at the UAB. She received a master of Fine Arts degree in Estudios Avanzados en Producciones Artísticas, at UB. She began postgraduate studies in Technologies of Postproduction at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia’s Center for Image and Technology Multimedia (CITM). She graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. josefinadelopez.com   thenetdreams.com

Full text (PDF)  29-35