Virtual, Phenomenal,Real and MobileDr David Kreps - Information Systems, Organisations and Society, University of Salford17th Conference Of Society For Philosophy And Technology, Denton, Texas, May 2011
Introduction✤ GPS mobile internet devices ✤ facebook, twitter, layar and other AR ✤ durational as opposed to spatial understanding of this media-rich virtual layer✤ Wanda Orlikowski (Information Systems @ MIT and LSE) - sociomateriality✤ Karen Barad (Feminist Studies @ Santa Cruz) - agential realism✤ Henri Bergson (Philosophy, College de France) - durée reélle
Wanda Orlikowski✤ sociomateriality✤ “the importance of considering materiality in our studies of knowledge in organisations”✤ ‘techno-centric’ vs ‘human-centred’ approaches✤ knowing as emergent, embodied, embedded, and, signiﬁcantly, material✤ scaffolding ... cultural and material✤ (sense of the) performative
“For Bohr, what is at issue is not that we cannot know both the Karen Barad position and momentum of a particle simultaneously (as Heisenberg initially argued), but rather that particles do not have determinate values of✤ Niels Bohr - quantum theory position and Foucault - discursive practices momentum Butler - performativity simultaneously.”✤ Barad concludes “the heart of the lesson of quantum physics” is that “we are a part of that nature that we seek to understand”✤ whilst an object is something which is, a phenomenon is something which happens.
Haraway: “What counts as an object is preciselyAgential Realism what world history turns out to be about.”✤ Diffraction : natural and social together✤ Agency : knowledge-making practices are material enactments that are part of the phenomena we describe✤ Performativity : “Butler draws on Foucault’s suggestion that the repetition of regulatory practices produces a speciﬁc materialisation of bodies…” hence iterative citationality.✤ Matter : Butler - “a process of materialisation that stabilises over time to produce the effect of boundary, ﬁxity, and surface we call matter” Barad - “an unsettling of nature’s presumed ﬁxity”✤ Agential Realism : human and nonhuman, material and discursive, and natural and cultural factors in scientiﬁc and other social-material practices
William James said admiringly that Bergson had "killedBergson intellectualism deﬁnitively and without hope of recovery. I dont see how it can ever✤ Henri Bergson (b1859-d1941) : contemporary of revive again in its Saussure, both in Nietzsche’s shadow : three ancient Platonising role founding voices upon which Deleuze and others of claiming to be the built Poststructuralism most authentic, intimate, and exhaustive deﬁner✤ Matter and Memory; Time and Free Will; of the nature of reality." Creative Evolution; Two Sources of Morality & Religion✤ durée reélle; élan vital. durational vs. spatial; intuitive vs. intellectual; dualistic explanation of monistic ontology.✤ Deconstructively bypasses many opposites with contextualising insights that evince differences in degree rather than in kind, speak of time rather than space, focus on quality rather than quantity
Objective reality, then, in which, as science describes to us, objects relate to one anotherBergson: perception according to rules we can deduce from them, continues without regard to us.✤ ‘pure’ perception - outlined in order to The fact that this objective understand - doesn’t occur in reality world appears to be different according to the subjective perspective of each of us does✤ Perception and action are a continuum with not, however, present any our affections in the middle paradox: our subjective perception of these objects has✤ Representation: the brain is part of the isolated that which is useful to material universe, not the other way around. us about them, and ignores that which is not.✤ “The objects which surround my body reﬂect its possible action upon them” : Therefore, “there is for images merely a difference of degree, and not of kind, between being and being consciously perceived.”
“Past images, reproduced exactly as they were, with all their details and even withBergson: memory their affective colouring, are the images of idle fancy or of dream : to act is just to induce this memory to shrink, or rather to become thinned and sharpened, so that it presents✤ Two kinds of memory: motor mechanisms, nothing thicker than the edge and independent recollection: the former of a blade to actual experience, is part of the present; the latter exists only in into which it will thus be able the past to penetrate.”✤ So, in sum, the present – pure perception – is about consciousness of the body. The past – pure memory – is about unconsciousness of the body, the realm of fancy and dream.✤ The reality of the human condition is always a blend of the two.
Bergson: matter and spirit “Our perceptions, actual and virtual,✤ matter is placed neither exclusively in extend along two lines, the one the ‘realist’ world of objectivity (what horizontal, AB, which contains all our senses perceive), nor in the simultaneous objects in space, the other ‘idealist’ world of sensation (what our vertical, CI, on which are ranged our successive recollections set out in time. memory projects) The point I, at the intersection of the two lines, is the only one actually given to✤ The survival of the past, by which consciousness.” memory is possible, is therefore not physical✤ The present is not that which is... it is simply what is being made.
Bergson: durée reélle✤ A dualistic conception of existence: matter and spirit; but monistic - these two are always indissolubly coterminous.✤ durée reélle : Real duration - the universe understood as movement ✤ We don’t perceive real life as a succession of demarcated conscious states, progressing along some imaginary line, but rather as a continuous ﬂow✤ Intuition, the direct apprehension of process, is the discoverer of truth - intuition, not analysis, reveals the real world.
Bergsonian sociomaterial agentialrealism?✤ When technologies "vanish" it is our perception isolating what is useful✤ Scaffold: is it simply too spatial? Conceive the ﬁnal building actually as simply a longer lasting scaffold : the notion of scaffolding is freed of ‘object-hood’ and allowed back into the continuous ﬂow✤ Iris van der Tuin reads Barad and Bergson diffractively through one another and sets aside erroneous assertions of feminist, Rebecca Hill, that Bergson’s work is somehow phallocentric, setting a masculine spirit in a dominant position over a feminine matter✤ Bergson’s understanding of memory : repetition and citationality in the performativity of the material-discursive✤ Butler’s account of matter chimes with durational understanding of existence✤ Intuitive : onto-epistemological... equivalences
Neuroscience and Bergson✤ Neurosicentists:✤ Mirror neurons : perception (Rizzolatti & Craighero, Kilner)✤ Much of our experience of the external world is projected : memory (Llinas, Gregory)
Augmented Memory✤ Augmented reality = Augmented memory✤ Collective memory: once just books for the privileged few, now Google - and AR apps for all: not making us stupid✤ The media-rich layer promised by augmented memory becomes a durationally understood virtuality between action-perception and dream-memory, a materiality that could even be regarded as an exemplar of the sociomaterial.✤ The question... of course, is then one of power : this is a whole other issue.
Conclusion✤ The contemporary reality of the Mobile ✤ a Bergsonian augmented memory ✤ ﬂux of a complex Orlikowskian scaffold of Bohr/Barad apparatus ✤ a new layer of media-rich collective memory at the fulcrum of the old divisions✤ A very real (durational) virtuality.
Contact✤ Dr David Kreps✤ Director, Centre for Information Systems, Organisations and Society✤ http://www.isos.salford.ac.uk✤ http://snipr.com/davidkreps✤ firstname.lastname@example.org