Digital Selfhood and its Mental Spatialities: Abstracts of Textual Constructs

Abstract (in English): 

Early cyberspatial theories reflected on the qualities of computer mediated experience by introducing aspects of immateriality, incorporeality, symbolism, abstraction, as well as exploring the mental, perceptual, and psychological dimensions of digital experience itself. Electronic interactions have been described as platonically erotic, transcendental, allegorical, even ecstatic conditions, that still seem timely and compelling nowadays, even since the pre-pandemic era. Human mind appeared as an inherent ingredient of the digital phenomenon since its birth. On the other side, ideas such as ‘body amnesia’ or ‘fleshworld’, emerged denoting the rigidity of the physical body to reach the other side of the screen.
These days, the superfluous, excessive, sometimes obsessive use of digital technology, pervasive software as well as the internet of things have surpassed the Cartesian mind-body dualism and have given rise to novel hybrid approaches of our contemporary relation to technology. Hybridity has created space for intertextual interpretations of experience, that do not divide the notion of mind and body, but comment on the complex interactions of self with digital culture, through numerous differentiated contexts, evolving cyborg ontologies, alternate bodies, human-nonhuman systems, transformative personas, all rendered through a daily mediated reality.
The study attempts to look at the mind-body ever-present conundrum, through a quest on digital spatiality. Digital experience has always been inseparable from the metaphoric use of spatial concepts. At the same time, textual space constitutes an allegorical or symbolic construction with its own architecture, ambience, and other characteristics. Space is not only relating to the strict conception of geometry, physics, or mathematics, but also to an anthropological reading of existence, a quality that is often elusive and immeasurable, thus it helps define abstract, psychological, experiential phenomena, or in other words, that which is in fact indefinable.
In this context, self takes the role of a mental dynamic, while space is interpreted as a metaphoric, volatile construction whose literary aesthetics emerge from digital culture. The idea of digital experience is approached though a series of textual-spatial concepts and projects that reflect on space that is constructed in the interstitial area between the digitally platformed self and the mediated environment. This exploration takes the form of creative writings, chatbot interviews, exercises of verbal configurations, visual poetics, interactive game-poems and other abstracts of writing in both artistic and educational contexts. The overall idea of the digital mind-body interpretation takes the form of a series of mental spatialities that comment on our contemporary way of being in the digital world. In architecture, to read means to uniquely understand and thoroughly grasp the phenomena of the surrounding environment - in this case, space is translated in an altered vocabulary that helps us understand what it means to ‘read’ the contemporary self in a platformed culture.


ELO 2021: Post(?) Pandemic Prose: Preliminary Findings of the COVID E-Lit project, 27 May 2021

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Daniel Johannes...