[ITA] Si è conclusa da qualche giorno la sessione estiva di dottorato del T-Node del Planetary Collegium, che quest’anno si è svolta presso l’Università di Plymouth insieme al CAiiA (Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts). Quelle che seguono sono alcune considerazioni sulla sessione e una breve presentazione del mio intervento al simposio internazionale che ha affiancato la sessione.
[ENG] It ended a few days ago the Summer Ph.D. session of the T-Node – Planetary Collegium, which this year was held jointly with the CAiiA (Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts) at the University of Plymouth. The following are some considerations about the session and a short presentation of my intervention at the International symposium that accompanied the session.

 

Italiano [English below]

 

Seguire l’evoluzione del lavoro di ricerca dei candidati è già di per sé interessante, ma quest’anno – così come del resto in molte altre occasioni precedenti, come in Sudafrica – alla sessione è stata affiancata una conferenza internazionale, “The Undivided Mind. Exploring Boundaries between Minds and Worlds”. L’affiancare alla sessione un evento culturale internazionale è uno dei “plus” di questo dottorato, perché consente ai candidati di entrare in una rete internazionale di ricercatori, studiosi, artisti e scienziati che può arricchire molto il loro lavoro e inserirli in un contesto allargato.

La presentazione del simposio recitava:

“The Sciences and the Arts have often created intellectual divisions in the way we represent sensing, thinking and action in order to understand the world and our relationship with it. Distinctions have often been made between brain/mind, sensing/thinking, thought/action and internal/external. Sensory and perceptual information is often inherently ambiguous, the drawing in of information a series of processes to minimise misinterpretations from the environment. The environment itself is often represented as something other to our own being but often the boundaries between beings and their environment (and beings and beings) are porous and indivisible rather than manifest and abrupt. This symposium seeks to interrogate these divisions and the reasons for the existence of the divisions and considers what might be found at the boundaries, the extensities of sensation between these created divided entities, both physical and imagined.”

 

 

Il mio intervento al simposio, che sarà pubblicato negli atti, si intitolava “Between division and continuity. Thresholds, boundaries and perspectives as territories of ambiguity” e si divideva sostanzialmente in tre parti. La prima verteva sull’ambiguità del punto di vista nel rappresentazione del reale, a partire dall’assunzione della prospettiva rinascimentale, nella creazione di una pretesa continuità tra spazio “reale” e spazio “virtuale” (la prospettiva rinascimentale è ancora alla base dei dispositivi e delle immagini che cercano di simulare il reale). La seconda parte, a partire da un semplice esempio di osservazione di una forma geometrica elementare, verteva sulla continuità e l’ambiguità tra il sapere e il vedere, uno dei cavalli di battaglia del grande studioso dell’arte Ernst Gombrich. Il mio intervento insisteva su quella sorta di terra di nessuno nella quale il confine tra sapere e vedere, tra cultura e natura, tra ciò che è appreso e ciò che è innato, è indecidibile, indistinguibile, indecifrabile, essendo momenti totalmente integrati. La terza parte, infine, cercava di evidenziare le continuità percettive tra i sensi, spesso considerati separati e distinti, nell’analisi e nella gestione delle informazioni provenienti dall’esterno e dall’interno del corpo. La sfera sensoriale è coesa, e i sensi, al di là della loro specializzazione, agiscono in sinergia, scambiandosi informazioni e sovrapponendosi, senza confini e divisioni. Questo stato viene messo in discussione dalla comunicazione tecnologica contemporanea, che tende a eliminare alcune delle capacità sensoriali che sono fondamentali per gli individui.

 

 

 

English

 

Following the evolution of the researches of the candidates is interesting in itself, but this year – as in fact happened in many other previous occasions, like in South Africa for example – the session has been joined by an international symposium, “The Undivided Mind. Exploring Boundaries between Minds and Worlds”. Adding to the session an international cultural event is one of the strengths of this doctorate, because it enables the candidates to enter an international network of researchers, scholars, artists and scientists that can enrich their work, and connect them to a broader context.

From the symposium presentation:

“The Sciences and the Arts have often created intellectual divisions in the way we represent sensing, thinking and action in order to understand the world and our relationship with it. Distinctions have often been made between brain/mind, sensing/thinking, thought/action and internal/external. Sensory and perceptual information is often inherently ambiguous, the drawing in of information a series of processes to minimise misinterpretations from the environment. The environment itself is often represented as something other to our own being but often the boundaries between beings and their environment (and beings and beings) are porous and indivisible rather than manifest and abrupt. This symposium seeks to interrogate these divisions and the reasons for the existence of the divisions and considers what might be found at the boundaries, the extensities of sensation between these created divided entities, both physical and imagined.”

 

 

My intervention at the symposium, that will be published in the proceedings, was entitled “Between division and continuity. Thresholds, boundaries and perspectives as territories of ambiguity” and was divided into three parts. The first one concerned the ambiguity of the viewpoint’s objectivity in representing the real, starting from the assumption of the Renaissance perspective, in the creation of an alleged continuity between “real” and “virtual” spaces (being the Renaissance perspective still at the base of the devices and of the pictures that try to simulate reality). The second part, from a simple example of observation of an elementary geometric shape, concerned the continuity and ambiguity between knowing and seeing, one of the flagships of the great scholar Ernst Gombrich. My speech insisted on that kind of no man’s land where the boundary between knowing and seeing, between culture and nature, between what is learned and what is innate, is undecidable, indistinguishable, indecipherable, being moments that are inextricably integrated. The third part tried to highlight the continuity of perception in the senses, that instead are often regarded as separate and distinct in the analysis and management of information coming from the outside and the inside of the body. The sensorium is a cohesive sphere, and the senses beyond their expertise work together, exchanging information, functions and overlapping, without boundaries and divisions. This state is challenged by the contemporary communication technology, which tends to underestimate some of the sensory capabilities that are fundamental for individuals.