Socioaesthetics from the margin: On prosopopoiesis and new media

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningfagfællebedømt

This chapter reflects on the potential of socioaesthetics by involving it with Mark Weiser’s and John Seely Brown’s idea of pervasive computing, put forward at the beginning of the nineteen nineties and today inspiring debates on new media. Whereas the original idea from the nineties seem fulfilled since computing is everywhere, pervasive, ubiquitous, in Weiser and Seely Brown’s terms, “invisible”, “calm”, it also points to a different perspective. The development of “calm” computing I want to argue, implies a break with the postwar genealogy of computing and its idiom of interaction and bring forward a possible focus on what will be termed the socioaesthetics of new media; further, what I will term creative action upon technology. It is no coincidence that the conjecture of calm computing coincides with the vertiginous breakthrough of the billion-user big world wide web and many other related aspects of new media throughout the nineties, today apparent in all sorts of uses. The reason for this success, it will be submitted, relies less with technology per se and more with an aesthetical perspective emerging with a plug and play-culture of experience and expression, from porn and gaming to facebook and Instagram. In the article the potential of socioaesthetics will be indicated more in detail by involving the idea of creative action with the notion of “prosopopoeia” from classical rhetorics; a device for “speaking about something other as a person or object”. First the paper outlines the potential of socioaesthetics by revisiting the paradoxical distinction/complicity set up in Gilbert Simondon’s work “the technical object” in terms of “technicity” and “the ensemble”. Second, it involves the “chiasm” of the visible and the invisible in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetical philosophy in a discussion of Weiser and Seely Brown’s idea of calm computing. Third it exemplifies a shift from the idiom of interaction to prosopopoietics in cases from the genealogy of computing; John von Neumann’s famous First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC from nineteen forty five, the first formula for the serial computer, and Herbert Simon’s influential book The Science of the Artificial from the nineteen seventies, appearing at the breakthrough of the idiom of interaction. The chapter concludes by a brief debate on Weiser’s idea of pervasive computing as socioaesthetics.
TitelSocioaesthetics : Ambience - Imaginary
RedaktørerAnders Michelsen, Frederik Tygstrup
Publikationsdato15 okt. 2015
ISBN (Trykt)9789004246270
ISBN (Elektronisk)9789004303751
StatusUdgivet - 15 okt. 2015
NavnSocial and Critical Theory

ID: 129135115