Mirror as Neosentient

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As technology becomes an extension of daily life the human body develops a new phenomenology through which it senses and interprets the world. Each technologically mediated experience enables the human an altered or enhanced set of rules and functions.
As a technology and it’s scenario of use is imparted or discovered within a community, a new social order develops around it as it becomes accessible and acceptable. In the new social order, this new way of being begins to govern or even subsume daily habits and interactions. The shift ushers in a reliance on technology in which community members experience a fragmented reality. Ironically, this fragmentation occurs both while these individuals are united to and separated from this relationship.

This new phenomenology, created by playing off of our old is thought to be the key to recreating a kind of intelligence which will exceed our own. Whether it is artificial, ambient, near or far one can only imagine it would develop it’s own phenomenology. How will we relate to this new sentient being? How will it “see” and understand the world? What will it do with what it “see’s” and senses? Lastly, when this neo-sentient is no longer just a tool, offering the human a new phenomenology, what would happen when we realize it has it’s own phenomenology?


In a short exploration “Neosentient as a Mirror” I chose the most overt visualizations and alterations I could relate to the notion of an altered sense of the world and self: alterations of the representative body. Also, I was interested in the experience and affordances of communication through technology which led me to consider issues of self awareness through technology. After thinking about our relationship to ourselves, technology, and others I chose my agent: a mirror, to house the neosentient-human relationship. The mirror is a simple technology which we have built up both an expectation and mythical mystery about. The scenario I filmed is an exploration of the moment in which a human stumbles upon a neosentient which has recently discovered self-awareness. It’s alterations to the human form are minimal and subtle at best. However, beyond this scenario one could imagine it’s interventions being both expansive, bold, information rich, and applied to a specific context of use. The motivation of the neosentient in this scene is undetermined, but could be explored in further iterations. The schema of interaction could also be explored but in this case the mirror lends us to consideration of the analogy of the neosentient as mirror. Also, the communication between the neosentient and the human is at best strained in this scenario, but one could you imagine a willing and curious observer? All in all, this study has lead me to come into a critical awareness and imagination of my relationship to technology. And from this exploration, I find I am once again delighted by my “old” phenomenology and perhaps less miffed (or more thankful) of the new one I have gained!


About alexandria
Alexandria I. Jarvis Master of Graphic Design '12 North Carolina State University

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