[ISEA2017] Paper: Su Hyun Nam — Cognitive beings: Brain mechanisms discussed in cultural studies


Keywords: Cognitive Science, Cybernetics, Cognisphere, Brain Plasticity, Synapse, Posthumanism, Synaptic Self, Enactivism.

Cognitive science emerged from an interdisciplinary discussion of information theory, linguistics and psychology among many other disciplines. Since its emergence, it has not only been largely discussed in other disciplines but has also shaped our views and perception of the world. In this paper, I will examine how scholars in cultural studies and philosophers incorporate scientific theories about the brain into their work, and how they bridge scientific knowledge with immediate human experience. Through Katherine Hayle’s notion of the cognisphere, this paper examines the impacts of informatization of human body and cognition within a pyramid of digital data flows between machines. This paper also takes the French philosopher, Catherine Malabou’s observation of the scientific concept of brain activities – brain plasticity and synaptic connection – as a metaphor to identify what is needed in our social engagement.

  • Su Hyun Nam is an interdisciplinary media artist and researcher based in Buffalo and Chicago, USA, working at the intersection of art, technology and philosophy to explore her relationship to digital media with an artistic and meditative approach to computation. Her works, including an interactive video installation, 3D game art and media performance, has been exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues from Spain, UAE, Greece to Singapore. Her recent paper was presented at SIGGRAPH ASIA in Japan, and her community-based media art projects were showcased at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo. She graduated summa cum laude from Konkuk university in Seoul, Korea, and received her MFA in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Media Study and teaching programming and 3D game technology as an adjunct instructor at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Full text (PDF) p. 75-78