Cyber-performatives: The cogni-cyber-performative nature of puppetry and ventriloquism and the human interaction with artefacts

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Marcio Rocha

Beginning from the point of view of Cybernetics this seminar will illustrate, through puppetry and ventriloquism, a model to explain the interactive nature of the performative objects in our lives.

Historically, puppetry and ventriloquism as an artistic practice, has being relegated to a niche theatrical practice, ignoring that they function as an art of ‘articulated objects’ that ‘projects, mediates and distribute our cognition and experiences’ and where contemporary theories of interaction can be explored and understood.

Puppetry and ventriloquism relies on a model that can be understood as a ?system regulated by information and feedback? which is elucidated to explain the human orchestration with objects from the point of view of our cognitive capacities. This model, also contrasts with the ‘The British Variant of cybernetic’ which, in Pickering’s terms, offers the distinction between the performative and the cognitive aspects, which emphasize machines that ‘act’ rather than machines that ‘think’.The materiality and physicality of these objects and their performative nature, serve as conduits for understanding the world, suggesting a model that exemplifies the performative nature of the human interaction with media-objects that ‘act, express and speaks itself by being act and spoken through’.

This raises the question of how this helps us to amplify our comprehension in terms of the human interaction with computers and digital artifacts.

Through the work of scholars such as Pickering, Minsky, Pangaro, Licklider, Maturana, Clark, Chalmers, Malafouris, Latour among others, the present seminar invites the audience to elucidate and connect subjects and disciplines that at first glance are not clearly connected.

Bibliography
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Clark, A. 2008. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognition Extension. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Malafouris, L. 2008. ‘At the potter’s wheel: An argument for material agency’. In C. Knappet and L. Malafouris (eds), Material Agency: Towards a Non-anthropocentric Perspective. New York: Springer, 19-36.
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Humberto R. and Francisco Varela, Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1980, 2-62.
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Wiener, Norbert, Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Technology Press; New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1948.
Wheeler, Will. Bruno Latour: Documenting Human and Nonhuman Associations Critical Theory for Library and Information Science. Libraries Unlimited, 2010
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McMaster, T. and Wastell, D. 2005. The agency of hybrids: overcoming the symmetrophobic block. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 17 (1), pp.175-182.

Websites
http://www.gwu.edu/~umpleby/Conceptual_Systems.txt
http://www.pangaro.com/definition-cybernetics.html
https://sites.google.com/site/praxisandtechne/Home/architecture/performativity/human-and-non-human-agency
http://matt.colorado.edu/teaching/highcog/fall8/c6.pdf
http://web2.ges.gla.ac.uk/~elaurier/texts/Latour.pdf