Embodiment

To Embody is to put into a body an idea or spirit, to give a concrete form to or to express (principles, thoughts, or intentions) within art, action, word combinations, or institutions. Thus, an embodiment of an idea or principle is its physical form, realisation or expression, or the incarnation of that idea. (Hansen 2003) .

This explanation fits well with my idea. The audience have to participate with the art and by doing so they will understand it better and interpret it. This interpretation is a key part in interactive art and the ideas behind my piece of interactive media.

When we move and think and feel, we are, of course, a body. This body is constantly changing, in and through its on going relationships. This body is a dynamic form, full of potential. It is not ‘a body; as thing, but embodiment as incipient activity. Embodiment is a continuously emergent and active relation. It is our materialisation and articulation, both as they occur, and about to occur. Embodiment is moving-thinking-feeling, it is the body’s potential to vary, it is the body’s relations to the outside. And embodiment, I contend, is what is staged in the best interactive art.(Stern 2013, p.2)

This is what I hope to achieve in my work as interacting with something makes it become a part of you. This means you build a relationship with that thing. Marshal Mcluhan describes this as;

“All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical” – (McLuhan, Fiore and Agel 1967, p.26)

This connection that we create with media is elucidated by Merleau-Ponty

she emphasizes the importance of an internal third ear or third eye in creating this grounding.  For Merleau-Ponty our body is unique as a medium, in that it both sees and is seen; our bodies are sensory objects and objects to be sensed.  Consequently our senses are self-conscious.  We can sense ourselves sensing, and therefore gain perspective on our own point of view.

This unique characteristic of being a medium that is sensing ourself sensing is a key fundamental characteristic that makes interactive art such an interesting topic. You display art which people interact with and by interacting with it they are creating a narrative that people want to join in with. Embodiment is a crucial part of interactive design and one of the most intriguing challenges as you can discuss with people how participating with the art made them feel, by embodying the art you have the visual element of art in its original form of simply being looked at but You also have the additional element of the audience as performers.


References


Hansen, M., 2003. body/embodiment | The Chicago School of Media Theory. [online] Lucian.uchicago.edu. Available from: https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/mediatheory/keywords/bodyembodiment/ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2014].

Hansen, M., 2003. body/embodiment | The Chicago School of Media Theory. [online] Lucian.uchicago.edu. Available from: https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/mediatheory/keywords/bodyembodiment/ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2014].

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. and Agel, J., 1967. The medium is the massage. New York: Bantam Books, p.26.

Stern, N., 2013. Interactive Art and Embodiment: The Implicit Body as Performance. Gylphi Limited, p.2.

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