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Immersive theatre, and the consenting audience - Exeunt Magazine
It’s part of a new category, the ‘experience’: a commodifiable interlude of time that’s packed with the kind of extreme sensory and emotional events that some people crave, but that sanitised, tradition-stripped modern life often doesn’t have room for. Fascinatingly, one audience member said that “I would pitch it all as ‘extreme experiential dream-like reality’ that doesn’t aim to give you joy through it (is running a marathon a joyful experience?) Some experiences give you just that – experience to relate and recall later”.

So maybe some people attending Barzakh see it as a life-changing physical and mental event. Like running a marathon, or a religious rite-of-passage, or even giving birth. But I think the crucial difference is that with all of those things, you can have a reasonable idea of, if not exactly how you’ll feel, then the history and contexts and meanings behind the experience you’re putting yourself through.
theatre  bdsm  embodiment  consent  immersive 
14 days ago by mildlydiverting
Jennifer Mehigan: BDSM and Human Blobs - ELEPHANT
it’s hard to escape the feeling of just being eaten up by a gaze that you weren’t even performing for in the first place.
art  painting  sex  embodiment  gaze 
17 days ago by mildlydiverting
Anna Liber Lewis: Cock Paintings & Power - ELEPHANT
Your paintings often feature body parts, yet they dip in and out of figuration and abstraction. Do you ever work directly from the body?

With some of the big ones I was working from the male body. I went through a period where I was making a lot of cock paintings, it was all about desire and lust. I just want to push up against something. It can be an object, a feeling, a person, it’s just a visceral pushing up against. I was in a relationship at the time that was really urgent, I was thinking about desire and about who I could objectify. Although there are so many women in art schools, there’s a history of masculinity and the people at the top still tend to be men. I was trying to see what I could push.
sex  eroticism  painting  embodiment  art  inspiration 
20 days ago by mildlydiverting
Why post-punk pioneer Kathy Acker is making a comeback | Financial Times
Born in 1947 and raised by a rich but apparently resentful mother and stepfather, her childhood abandonment — real or imagined — became her raw material, and she scratched at it so incessantly that it never stopped bleeding. As she constructed her life story, she also constructed her body. Acker pumped iron when it wasn’t sexy, had multiple piercings (including her labia, a fact that she dropped casually in interviews) and enormous tattoos. The way she addressed sex was more often grotesque than erotic. She wrote about her pelvic inflammatory disease and abortions, and made it explicit that her body and her body of work were inseparable: as she once remarked, there’s nothing like “writing from the point of orgasm” to get the creative juices flowing.

But even as Acker laboured over this theatrical self-presentation, she saw the danger of it. She complained that she was “fetishised” by the media and would later recall her years living in London with particular distaste.
inspiration  literature  theory  embodiment  sex 
23 days ago by mildlydiverting
Expressing your sexuality on Instagram is becoming impossible | Dazed
All three of these interviewees lament the demise of Tumblr last year, when the network undertook a process of sanitisation, deleting overnight what had previously been an extensive, often painstakingly-curated archive of sexually explicit and erotic material. “That’s where a lot of people started expressing their sexualities, in both pornographic and non pornographic ways,” says Mike, chiming with the idea that sexual exploration in the 21st century is tightly bound to both image culture and image making.

Given the precarious nature of queer archives throughout history, these attempts to silence sexually dissident voices can be viewed as attacks on the continuation of a vital queer lineage. If we’re to believe plentiful predictions of an ongoing intertwining of our virtual and real worlds, this process of silencing begins to look worryingly authoritarian. Sure, there is an abundance of private spaces for sexual exploration on the internet, but the important matter at hand is our need to normalise and discuss diverse sexual experiences more openly, in order to fight homogeneity and avoid the danger of sexuality being metabolised as shame.

So, what of the future? For MacKenzie, Mike and Erin, working in the print medium offers something of a sanctuary, where publishing protections are somewhat more permissive. “It’s incredible that I am more free in print than I am on the internet,” MacKenzie says, before adding that, in her opinion, a rejection of the virtual world entirely would be antithetical. “It’s impossible to disregard the internet now, but it all has to work in concert.” For Erin, the road to solving the issue can only be parsed through open conversation: “We want people to be part of the discussion and for them to find out how this is affecting queer communities now, and to consider how it could affect our cultures in the future.”
sexuality  pornography  censorship  socialmedia  internet  embodiment  inspiration 
24 days ago by mildlydiverting
The hard problem of consciousness is a distraction from the real one | Aeon Essays
m the outside world convey only prediction errors – the differences between what the brain expects and what it receives. Perceptual content is carried by perceptual predictions flowing in the opposite (top-down) direction, from deep inside the brain out towards the sensory surfaces. Perception involves the minimisation of prediction error simultaneously across many levels of processing within the brain’s sensory systems, by continuously updating the brain’s predictions. In this view, which is often called ‘predictive coding’ or ‘predictive processing’, perception is a controlled hallucination, in which the brain’s hypotheses are continually reined in by sensory signals arriving from the world and the body. ‘A fantasy that coincides with reality,’ as the psychologist Chris Frith eloquently put it in Making Up the Mind (2007).
brain  mind  science  consciousness  neuroscience  embodiment 
4 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
From Marina Abramović to Carlos Martiel, a Tradition of Self-Harm in Performance Art
Disman isn’t so concerned with people misinterpreting her work as an individual artist. But she does worry about how the media and, by extension, the wider public might interpret these forms of performance and the effects this has.

“I’m concerned by the instrumentalizing of performance art in the media to incite moral panic,” she explained to me. “I’m concerned with the making-ridiculous of performance artists, a step away from the making-crazy. By naming someone crazy, you can delegitimize everything they say and do. It almost always means treating them unequally, which is part of how larger systems of power organize bodies.”
art  performance  theory  selfharm  embodiment 
6 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Abstract - Automated Posture Analysis for detecting Learner’s Interest Level
Automated Posture Analysis for detecting Learner’s Interest Level
Selene Mota and Rosalind W. Picard
MIT Media Laboratory
This paper presents a system for recognizing naturally occurring postures and associated affective states related to a child’s interest level while performing a learning task on a computer. Postures are gathered using two matrices of pressure sensors mounted on the seat and back of a chair. Subsequently, posture features are extracted using a mixture of four gaussians, and input to a 3-layer feed-forward neural network. The neural network classifies nine postures in real time and achieves an overall accuracy of 87.6% when tested with postures coming from new subjects. A set of independent Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) is used to analyze temporal patterns among these posture sequences in order to determine three categories related to a child’s level of interest, as rated by human observers. The system reaches an overall performance of 82.3% with posture sequences coming from known subjects and 76.5% with unknown subjects.
interaction  attention  research  embodiment 
6 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Understanding Embodied Simulation: Creating Meaning out of Language
Embodied simulation refers to the possibility that we understand the meaning of language by simulating in our minds the experience that the language describes through memories of our own experiences of that event. Bergen points at that we simulate constantly, when we imagine faces of friends or relatives, sounds, music, tastes, smells, and actions through conscious mental imagery. He explains that embodied simulation is a slightly deeper process and the images that we conjure up are ‘just the tip of the iceberg;’ when we simulate we create mental experiences of sense perceptions and actions without them being present. The processes that we consciously activate to do this are actually busy even when we are not aware of them.  When we practice ‘embodied simulation’ research shows we ‘prod’ those areas of the brain that deal with actions and perceptions that have unconsciously collected all our experiences and actions and reawaken them.
embodiment  language  thought  cognition  psychology  neuroscience 
6 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
(PDF) Identity as an Embodied Event
This article engages critically with issues surrounding the theorization of the self and body relation, where the body is interpreted as material increasingly open to human intervention and choice. It is argued that this theorization rests upon a mind/body split that limits an understanding of embodied identity. The significance for feminism of undermining representational practices that rely upon this dualism are outlined and criticized for reproducing the logic of representation they set out to destabilize. An alternative strategy is examined and the argument is made that to understand embodied identity the question must not be what do bodies mean but what can they do. Here feminist approaches that rely upon a radically different ontological position in order to move beyond the mind/body split are utilized. These theoretical debates are made meaningful through the lens of self narratives produced by young women–a context which demands the development of strategies for theorizing lived bodies.
embodiment  viewer  academic  sociology 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Art and Embodiment: Biological and Phenomenological Contributions to Understanding Beauty and the Aesthetic
Increasing awareness of the crucial and complex role of the body in making and experiencing art has led to a diverse range of biological and phenomenological philosophies of art. The shared emphasis on the role of the body re-connects these contemporary theories of art to aesthetics' pre-Kantian origin as a science of sense-perception (aesthesis) and feeling. Tracing some of the current positions in such diverse thinkers as Dissanayake, Langer, and Merleau-Ponty, this paper will examine their shared interest in art as a pre-reflective, non-discursive mode of knowing, symbolizing, and being-in-the-world. This paper argues that while some biologically based theories have drawn legitimate attention to the potential role of art in human evolution, their reductive tendencies need to be corrected and complemented by both a phenomenological and a 'symbolic' approach, which situates art in a web of culturally mediated affective encounters with the world in the context of a broader horizon that lends it its meaning.
embodiment  art  theory  philosophy 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Interactive Art and Embodiment | The Implicit Body as Performance
This book argues that interactive art frames moving-thinking-feeling as embodiment; the body is addressed as it is formed, and in relation. Interactive installations amplify how the body’s inscriptions, meanings, and matters unfold out, while the world’s sensations, concepts, and matters enfold in. Interactive artwork creates situations that enhance, disrupt, and alter experience and action in ways that call attention to our varied relationships with and as both structure and matter.

Nathaniel Stern’s inspirational book, Interactive Art and Embodiment, outlines how new media has the ability to intervene in, and challenge, not only the construction of bodies and identities, but also the ongoing and emergent processes of embodiment, as they happen. It includes immersive descriptions of a significant number of interactive artworks and over 40 colour images.
embodiment  interaction  art 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
The Performance of Infrastructure: Review of Interactive Art and Embodiment: The Implicit Body As Performance by Nathaniel Stern - Furtherfield
I am reminded of Adrian Johnston’s 2001 review of the newly republished English translation of Dominique Laporte’s History of Shit (first published in 1978). Whereas most Foucaultians and Althusserians were disconcertingly vague in pointing out the concrete material conditions for subjectivity and economical production, Laporte boldly contended that the genealogical hypothesis to all modern civilisations was tied to one concrete material condition: the infrastructure of bodily waste management, or, the desire to control and sublimate our need to defecate. In his usual Žižekian repartee, Johnston suggested that Laporte’s bizarre history of modernity implicitly accepted the anti-Cartesian embodiment thesis (that cognition cannot be separated from the actions of the body), but pushed its logic to the end.
embodiment  shit  interactive  art 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality - Wikipedia
Young concludes the paper with the assertion that these constraints are the result of living in a patriarchal, and sexist society. Women are not given the societal acceptance to take up as much space as men, and are taught from a young age to contain themselves in a small, enclosed, "inner space." Young girls are taught, both implicitly and explicitly, to follow the precedent of limited female spatiality and consequentially grow into "throwing like a girl." Once these girls have reached womanhood, they have embraced the conception that their bodies are fragile, and are both a subject and an object to be protected; women are aware that their bodies are seen as sexual objects by men, and that their bodies are objects receiving the male gaze. Young argues this further entrenches the discontinuity a woman has with her own body, as she fears that being outwardly direct will be perceived as an invitation to be objectified. She writes, "The woman lives her space as confined and enclosed around her at least in part as projecting some small area in which she can exist as a free subject."

While Young contends she has drawn sufficient conclusions on the modalities of feminine mobility, she introduces several questions that her paper raises. She questions how women perform differently than men in activities that do not require full-body movement, and in activities that do not have a clear goal, such as sex or dancing. Furthermore, Young questions how the constrained spatiality of the feminine body affects women's lives as a whole; she concludes with the suggestion that the lack of confidence women have about their physical abilities has resulted in their lack of confidence to be successful in cognitive or leadership abilities.
feminism  embodiment  sociology 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
body/embodiment | The Chicago School of Media Theory
Zizek argues that the greatest difficulty in detaching from the media, or flipping the switch back to pure reality, is the media’s semblance to our own senses.  Once familiar with the general workings of the media, we are only able to perceive our own senses with respect to their mechanical extensions, even if we are able to sense without the media.  Though our skills at math and grammar are not necessarily hindered by repeated use of a computer, our understanding of how we do calculations and editing, continues to be in terms of the computer’s computational and editorial programs.  We view the brain as a “flesh computer, but never the computer as an imitation of man.”  While we plug out, and seize to embody the media objects, the never seize to embody us–we continue to think of ourselves manifesting their actions or extensions of our own senses.
embodiment  media  theory  senses 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
(PDF) Interdisciplinary embodiment approaches. Implications for creative arts therapies
The chapter introduces interdisciplinary embodiment approaches from anthropology, linguistics, and psychology and relates them to creative arts therapies. It particularly focuses on the role of the body proper, body motion, basic dimensions of movement, body memory, and gender, fields that lie at the intersection of cognitive sciences and dance/movement therapy. It is argued that the body may be the place where the usefulness of the computer metaphor ends. The potential and limitations of the embodiment perspective in relation to the creative arts therapies are discussed. Keywords: Embodiment, human movement, body memory, creative arts therapy research, dance/movement therapy
embodiment  movement  health 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Embodied Self - Oxford Handbooks
The Embodied Self  
Quassim Cassam
The Oxford Handbook of the Self
Edited by Shaun Gallagher

Print Publication Date: Feb 2011 Subject: Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics Online Publication Date: May 2011 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199548019.003.0006
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the concept of the so-called embodied self. It attempts to answer the metaphysical question about the relation between body and self, the phenomenological question about the nature of our awareness of our own body, and the epistemological question of whether anything is special about the knowledge we have of our own bodies. It considers arguments in favour and against the claim that the person is identical with body. It also evaluates whether bodily awareness is a form of self-awareness.
Keywords: embodied self, body and self, bodily awareness, self-awareness, person
embodiment  philosophy  identity 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Embodied identity--a deeper understanding of body awareness. - PubMed - NCBI
The aims of this study were to explore and generate an understanding of the meaning of body awareness through explanations of the experience of body awareness given by professionals and patients in psychiatric rehabilitation. A total of 20 strategically selected healthy informants were interviewed individually and in groups. Thirteen previous interviews with physiotherapists and 11 previous interviews with patients in psychiatric rehabilitation, describing their experiences of body awareness therapy and its effects were reanalyzed and included in the data for this study; in all 44 informants were included. Grounded theory methods guided the data construction and analysis. A theoretical understanding was conceptualised from which a core category of body awareness emerged: the embodied identity. This core category was related to two categories: living in the body and living in relation to others and in society. The subcategory "living in the body" was conceived as an important aspect to become more aware of the body and to experience oneself fromwithin in order to recognize one's needs. A key point was the fact that bodily experiences always exists in the present moment. The experience of the body, the balance, and stability of the physical self were basic experiences that were connected to the conception of well-being and control. To understand one's emotions and needs through the awareness of the body were understood as the base for self-confidence, trust in one-self, and the ability to take care of oneself and one's needs physically and mentally. The subcategory "living in relation to others and in society" was conceived as an important aspect for the embodied self to interact with others and for societal participation. Working with the body in physiotherapy practice should include an understanding that body awareness is inseparable from the identity and may have an impact on the health of the individual. This implies that interventions to address problems in body awareness should be integrated into physiotherapy practice.
embodiment  awareness  mentalhealth  research 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting
Computer-generated pornography and convergence: Animation and algorithms as new digital desire - Rebecca Saunders, 2019
The libidinal focus of this type of digital pornography fundamentally shifts, then, away from the human body and the attempt to gain vicarious imagistic access to it through digital technologies. Instead, the labour of the animator, and the coding and characters they borrow from video game designs, become the libidinal focus of computer-generated pornography. As this new digital phenomenon uncovers and eroticizes the workings of CGI, so it dismantles the veracity and materiality promised by ‘real body’ digital pornography: CGI porn’s stark foregrounding of its technological constructedness clarifies the artificiality of its ‘real body’ counterpart. This article posits, then, an important new site of convergence. Pornography is a central node in the culture, politics and economics of digital technology, and the ways in which its convergence with CGI practises and video game culture has produced not just an entirely new digital phenomenon, but has fundamentally altered digital pornography's conception of the desirous subject and the material body, are crucial.
pornography  embodiment  cgi  academic  culturalstudies 
8 weeks ago by mildlydiverting

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