Technoetic space at risk: The development of a hybrid ecology framework for the spatial (re)configuration of the human condition

Smith, Carl H. (2015) Technoetic space at risk: The development of a hybrid ecology framework for the spatial (re)configuration of the human condition. Technoetic Arts, 13 (1-2). pp. 85-101.


Hybrid techniques and perceptual technologies that merge the physical and the virtual dimensions of reality are generating a conceptual and experiential working space to reconfigure relationships between the perceiver and the perceived. We are entering a new perceptual paradigm where form, content, and context are merging, generating radical new types of spatial construction. Through the development of hybrid spatial technologies we can now hack the individual’s sense of space and relationship to the world (transforming the subject/object relationship). How can we develop and use emerging spatial technologies to reconfigure spatial perception? Can we adapt and transform the dominant perceptive regimen, which is still based on the Cartesian split (subject-object separation)? We continue to see ourselves as separated from the environment and still need to digest the new changes brought about by hybrid techniques and methodologies that are shaping these new dimensions of space. How adaptable is our perception? The ability to alter our understanding of space provides us with a new form of spatial (self) control; sub-merging identities. What are the biological risks? What are the limits of stretching the perceptive range of the body? This article will examine these questions as an opportunity to humanise technology and create a ‘Human Centric Hybrid Literacy’. We will examine which technologies, techniques and navigation methodologies are being used by artists, technologists and designers to enable this new era of spatial augmentation and perceptual adaptation. Some examples include macroscopic navigation, 360 degree vision, new types of perspective (including third and fourth person perspectives) and reverse engineering. The role that hybrid space plays in the construction and transformation of perception through the practice of context engineering will be examined. Context engineering (Smith, 2013) is understood as an ‘intermediality’ practice for the engagement and augmentation of perception; giving us control over our senses, allowing us to adjust them in real time. Context engineering creates a new economy where we focus less on transforming content (as the primary activity), and more on how we can make our own perception the ‘content’.

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