Sunday, August 8, 2004

Immersive Social Interaction

Last night's fashion show was amazing - the dresses and costumes so beautiful! HorizonZero 16: Wear: Smart Clothes, Fashionable Technologies takes a closer look at some of the artists and fashions we saw. Now Inside/Outside continued:

Susan Kozel (meshperformance) spoke about the whisper project and not rendering the invisible visible, but understanding that some things wants to stay invisible. She also said that wearables tap into a desire for body states: stillness, vitality, rest, intimacy, ecstasy/release. And riffing on De Certeau's version of the speech act (enunciation) - wearables might operate within a broad field of movement vocabulary, effect an appropriation of movement patterns, establish a present relative to time and place, and posit a contact with the other in a network of places and relations. Interesting.

Valerie Lamontagne spoke about ubiquity and relational performance. Beginning with performance art and Futurists, she discussed disruptive forums that appeal to a broad public, both anarchic and socially engaged, breaking down categories, bridging disciplines, open-ended and malleable acts. She described ubiquity as omnipresent and undifferentiated, exponentially spreading - McLuhan's "all-at-onceness" - connectivity and social networks, collective action to augment and/or disrupt the everyday. Wonderful examples included Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono and Linda Montano, as well as Vsevolod Meyerhol's biomechanics and Nicolai Foregger's mechanical dances. Such beautiful gestures.

Fabian Winkler spoke about responsive social spaces and social aspects of responsive spaces. He exhibited his clink! project and discussed his work on DIELECTRIC.

Magda Wesolkowska talked about improving quality of life for elderly and cognitively disabled people - the forgotten - through social technologies. She began by giving the best definition of disability I have ever heard: a mismatch between people and their environment. (I thought how nice it would be to disable the normal and normalise the disabled.) Drawing on Bachelard's poetics of space, memory, playful presence and "a bit of magic", Madga's PhD research is looking at how participatory design and technologically interactive sociality can change our experiences of disability. Very interesting. And she promised to send me a link to her new blog.

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