Ahrc what I've written so far:
Gestural codes: A psychophysical framework for the investigation of missing memories.
A proposal for a computational system that will deploy embodied processes in the absence of fixed representations.
This research project explores a computational and philosophical apparatus for the investigation of missing memories. This interdisciplinary work will incorporate aspects of life-writing and digital narrativity as well as computer science and philosophies of mind.
Like many people I have gaps in my memories, and thus in the symbolic narrative of my life. Before the age of nine my childhood memories are largely without detail. By and large those years may therefore be described as ‘lost’. As a visual artist and artist-programmer the notion of such an aporia or cognitive deficit is particularly problematic. In the absence of representation what, if anything, can be retrieved, and what exactly can be communicated to others? In a wider philosophical sense such questions of representation and meaning have a high degree of cultural urgency. At this point in human-computer-interaction (or hci) we are on the verge of developing radical alternatives to fixed representation. (cite?) Two of those alternatives are present in the concepts of enactvism and Real World Interaction (or RWI), in which embodiment and environmental context become the principal loci of essentially processual meaning making. In these alternative paradigms tangible and social approaches to interaction become deeply embedded.
The system I propose to develop will bring very new technological innovations to the domain of digital narrative. Using a 12 camera motion capture system and GPS technology embedded in iPhones and iPads, will develop a performative narrative system that will enact the feelings and processes involved in experiencing partial or missing memories. The system will use real-world objects, sounds and images as well as actual and virtual spatialisations. The system may therefore be described as psychophysical (more) .
2. The need for this research
My background investigation suggests that although there has been some research into using gesture capturing systems for interactive narrative, these systems have not focused upon the important philosophical and pragmatic question of representation (and, more importantly, its absence) in either computation or narrative. This is a considerable gap given the increasing relevance of embodiment to both the arts and computation (support). The phenomenological tradition emphasises the primacy of actions and embodied practices over abstract cognition in everyday activity, and yet few artists and producers of interactive narrative have been able to comprehensively articulate these resurgent ideas within a digital context.
(prove its important Add relevant quotes)
WHY THE RESEARCH IS IMPORTANT
* may resolve theoretical questions in the areas of HCI, digital narrative and life writing* may develop better theoretical models in this area* may influence teaching of interactivity
Such a system may have implications for people who experience serious loss of memory. Are there ways in which computers can help to retrieve, not memories themselves (as fixed representations) but embodied and performative layers or laminations that can communicate experiences to others in the absence of fixed representations?
Similarly, does such a system may have value in the absence of common spoken languages. Emotion and affect may be communicated computationally across distances of time, space and culture.
Does this also have an implication for other types of performance – such as theatre or dance? Research based at Goldsmiths provides easy access to performers across a range of disciplines and also to diverse cultural and linguistic populations.
May hidden layers of meaning and memory be revealed via gesture, in other words, to quote Michael Polanyi, do we ‘know more than we can tell’? (Polanyi, 1968)