I have recently had the good fortune of correspondence with a tremendous thinker of whose work I have greatly admired and utilized continuously. At some point he queried me as to my central concern or research interest which I pondered over a number of days. About a year ago I recognized that filtering through all of my curiosities and fascinations (passionate inquiries) – in the end they were all about ways that meaning might be made for humans. Thus I figured semiosis or semiotics was my central field of concern. How we forge meaning in our surrounds. As I’ve pursued library and information science I have attuned to the eagerness with which we as a species produce, hoard and waste information. We’ve produced veritable clouds of data/information/knowledge and now it seems as if we swoon and drown in it. For meaning, this cosmos of affordances must be utilized, integrated, incorporated. As technologies explode and become increasingly symbiotic or synergistic with our own bodies and purposes, I have found that my responsive concern is one of remembering that the nexus or filament-combining locus for humans is the body. No meaning can be had without the physical processes on which our being relies. Every think I can think rests on the chemistry and material flows that comprise my organism. It seems that even while we seek to develop intelligent robots and machines, ubiquitous data-recording and instinct-responsive computing, work with data sets increasingly monumental and robust, that a strong percentage of the human populace has the idea that the stigmergy and emergence of virtual social realities construct meaning, promise, potentiality. I am not denying the fascinating quality of our rhizomic replications of our actual interconnectedness, overlap and interdependent influence, but I am committed to the fact that meaning only arises as relations are incorporated. The translation and transformation of continuous relational events whether electronic and virtual or face-to-face and co-present into MEANING only occurs organismically, physically, presently in the knotting of convergences through our embodied existence. Emotion, sensation, cognition, movement all ALWAYS play a part in the construction of meaning. These are my thinkings/feelings.
In keeping with that, serendipitously my wife and I happened to view “The Perfect Sense” – a movie pursued to listen to Max Richter‘s incredible soundtrack in action – but resulting in a sort of visual commentary on my above thoughts. We recommend it! And would love to hear what you think!
3 thoughts on “The Perfect Sense of Embodiment”
Amen to that! Fabulous post and a man after my own mind.
Information without integration is, then, the white noise slush of hypnosis, babble entrainment, the illusion of knowledge, the illusion of reality, whilst soul-sucked by screen and tube, losing dexterity and the patience to actually find out ( to get out of oneself, to look for, to get muddy). Goblin gold, goblin food….