Acting Bodies. The Ghost In the Machine

 Selected as a participant of the Contemporary Video Art and Performing Art Festival in Rome, 2016 and Borders, International Art and Architecture Festival - Fragmented Identities, in Venice, 2016. Featured on ISA RXc4 Embodiment Global Lab website as their first media art project. I was invited to participate in the project by Professor Bianca Maria Pirani, a professor of Sociology of Cultural Networks at the Department of Social Siences in the Faculty of Political Sciences, Communication, and Sociology at "Sapienza" University of Rome, and President and program Coordinator of Research Committee 54, "The Body in the Social Sciences", of the International Sociological Association (ISA) founded in 1949 under the auspices of UNESCO.

Acting Bodies. The Ghost In the Machine  was inspired by my interest in the relationship and complex interactions of body, mind and microelectronic technologies. Eventually, the video installation is a visual response to my research findings in cognitive mapping, as a form of memory, and spatial behavior, that is very similar in both animals and humans. A visual exploration of, as Paul Virilio in his Vision Machine put it, "the sharing of perception of the environment between the animate (the living subject) and the inanimate (the object, the seeing machine)."

According to Professor Pirani, “without understanding human spatial cognition, we will not be capable to develop appropriate technology and interfaces for spatial information systems that communicate with humans by language and graphics in natural ways. Autonomous robots moving in an unknown environment require abilities to infer location of objects from incomplete and qualitative information from various sources and to follow imprecise instructions much like human beings.

 

To use maps and other diagrams for communication with computers, we must understand, how people generate and interpret them. To fully exploit the potential of the technology of virtual reality, we must adapt its capabilities to human conceptions of space. In order to develop computers programmed by spatial structures rather than by sequential instructions, we have to fully understand the relevant aspects of space.

It is important to take into account the ways the body and objects relate to each other in the contemporary world that also change the old boundaries between the human subject and the material object. The world of the subjects and the world of the objects become increasingly intertwined. (…) the brain’s understanding of anything, whether factual or abstract, arises from the manipulations of the external world, by our moving within the world and thus from our sensory-derived experience of it.” *

 * Pirani, B. M. Acting Bodies And Social Networks: A Bridge Between Technology And Working Memory. University Press of America. Inc, 2010. Print