Materiality, mattering and identity games in adigitally globalising world Patrick J. Coppock Department of Communication and Economics University of Modena & Reggio Emilia ITALY email@example.com http://coppock-violi.com/work
“Mattering” & “MATTER”- some connotations & usages:• Well, does all this really matter in the longer term?• Whatever‟s the matter with you now?• I don‟t see that particular issue as mattering so very much for us all at the moment• The universe appears to be made up of infinite (or not) quantities of finite matter• This problem is seriously taxing my limited supply of grey matter• Digitally facilitated design and manufacturing processes at a distance are just one example of how new technologies make mattering the immaterial possible
Innovation, Design & Production• Any chain of human invention, design, production and cultural innovation processes can easily be conceived of in terms of how we go about “mattering the immaterial”, which can mean either:• Making the immaterial matter to us or more pragmatically (and grammatically) as:• Making matter out of something which is immaterial• What happens to us, and the world we live in, as a result of our continually carrying out such activities?
Extended Mind• Jon Haugland claims that: • “broader approaches […] look at perception and action, at skillful involvement with public equipment and social organization and do not see principled separation, but all sorts of coupling and functional unity.” • “mind is, therefore, not incidentally, but intimately embodied, and intimately embedded in its world” • “human intelligence abides in the meaningful – which, far from being restricted to representations, extends to the entire human world”• Andy Clark, David Chalmers ask: • “where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?” • “does the information in my Filofax count as part of my memory?” • “is my cognitive state somehow spread across the Internet?” • “better to take the broader view and see agents themselves as spread into the world” • “certain forms of social activity might be reconceived as less akin to communication and action, and as more akin to thought”
Economic Reason• Andy Clark: • “biological reason, I shall argue, is better conceived of as an iterated process of adaptive response made under extreme time pressure and exquisitely keyed to a variety of external structures and circumstances. • “these external circumstances serve as filters and constraints on the spaces of possible real time responses” • “paramount among such structures and circumstances, in the case of human reason, are the cultural artefacts of language and of social and economic institutions.”
Us all and ALL our technologies• Don Ihde: • “Positively, I have argued that technologies are non- neutral and essentially, but structurally, ambiguous.” • “In the relationship with humans, and humans-in-culture, technologies transform experience and its variations.” • “Further I have argued that at the level of a cultural hermeneutics, technologies may be variantly embedded; the same technology in another cultural context becomes quite a „different‟ technology” • “Since modernity the fantasy embodiments have tended to be technological rather than organic, animal-like or supernatural.”
Us and all the rest of it• Donna Haraway: • “Companion species is my effort to be in alliance with posthumanist projects because I think species is in question” • “Companion species thinking inquires into the projects that construct us a species, philosophical or otherwise” • “Humans, wherever you track them, are products of situated relationships with organisms, tools, much else.” • “We are quite a crowd, at all of our temporalities and materialities, including that of earth history and evolution.”
Us and all the rest of it• Donna Haraway: • “I think that training with my dog is a thinking technology for both of us because it provokes through the practice of us coming to learn how to focus on each other and do something neither of us could do before and can‟t do alone, and do it in a rule-bound way by playing a specific game that has arbitrary rules which allow you to play, or invent something new, something beyond functional communication, something open. • In fact, that‟s what play is: a game given a safe enough space to do something that would be dangerous otherwise”
The ubiquity of play• Peppino Ortoleva: • In the last decades new technologies, the rearrangement of living and labour time, and other less visible cultural factors have brought significant historical modifications to the traditionally separate ludic area. • New game types have emerged, and the threshold between play and reality has been redefined to include aspects of social life that seemed unrelated to play activities. • It is in the area of ludic practices, of games being played, where new, or previously marginalized, play models have emerged: casual games, social networking, theme parks, surfing, reality shows etc.
Applied play• Informal and formal learning in schools, at work, in urban games to explore unknown sides of cities and make new acquaintances• Gamification strategies in training, marketing and commerce• Flying military drones that kill people in other lands• Brainstorming sessions in business and science• Ludic interfaces in public information and archive systems• As a resource for facing situations requiring unplanned adaptations or improvisations
Digital Technologies & our Identities• Personal • v. 1.0• Personal • v. 2.0• Digital • v.1.0• Digital (natives) • v.2.0
Identity work and play in a digital age• Is hacking and modding video games a kind of identity work or play?• Are digital remix-remake activities and sharing of videos on YouTube a kind of identity work or play?• Is gold mining in World of Warcraft identity work or play?• Is a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Second Life account an avatar?• Just how much do our avatars matter to us and our significant others anyway?