This week we looked computational art and post-phenomenology. To be honest although I'd heard of the word phenomenology I didn't really know what it meant, so had to look that up to start with and then add it to my (secret) list of words I've learnt during this module. So it sounds like it relates to studying which concentrates on consciousness and direct experience of objects.

The study of technology in terms of the relations between human beings and technological artefacts, focusing on the various ways in which  technologies help to shape relations between human beings and the world.  They do not approach technologies as merely functional and instrumental  objects, but as mediators of human experiences and practices.

Not looking at things a pre-given, but the relationships define both object and subject

Relational frameworks

Not a bridge, but a fountain

Material artefacts deserve philosophical attention

MRI image as a picture of the brain, but look also at what relationships it has. The ideas of medicine, of visualising

black mysticism (Moten)

Don Idhe - four types of relationships

  • Emobodiment relations
    users develop bodily perceptual relationships with devices
    technology changes your perception of the world
    how you view through a camera, tell the time by a watch
    how does a pair of glasses change our perception of the world (Lydia Clark)
  • Hermeneutic relations
    (How we interpret things)
    Looking at a watch face, we interpret the hands, or the display and our expeirence is transformed
    Thinking that midday is when the hands point to 12
    That the day is divided in to 24 hours
    A watch is easy to interpret, but a MRI is hard
    Pierre Huyghe - Uumwelt
  • Alterity relations
    Moment when we relate to something in a manner which is how we relate to other humans
    When we wrote about it, he had ideas like ATM, but now we have things like Amazon's Alexa
    Feminist Internet project at UAL - Charlotte Web
    We don't think it is a human, just that we relate to it as if it we human
    (Q. how would this relate to animals?)
  • background relations
    devices that shape our experiences that we don't notice
    refridgerator, air conditioning - at a distance, or ambient
    Katherine Behar - High Hopes  (roombas with rubber tree plants) - background relations with technology
    the plants change the relationship with the roomba
    shifting of how things are definied or what we things are

Thinking about above with relations between humans and technology

VR works - postphenemological

You can't escape human relationship. About moving in and out of worlds and bodies

Slavoj Žižek on David Lynch’s Blue Velvet

The logic here is strictly Freudian, that is to say we escape into dream to avoid a deadlock in our real life. But then, what we encounter in the dream is even more horrible, so that at the end, we literally escape from the dream, back into reality. It starts with, dreams are for those who can not endure, who are not strong enough for reality. It ends with, reality is for those who are not strong enough to endure, to confront their dreams.


I saw Massive Attack play at the O2 Arena. It was a twenty-year anniversary of the release of their album Mezzanine. I saw them play at the Armoury in NYC.

Stuff about visuals and Adam Curtis