Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interaction

As I was thinking about systems of interaction, I couldn't help but see multiple ways of looking at how things relate.  In the simplest of terms we can think of an interaction having at least two participants. In the example of an art space, we can think of the creator being one participant, agreeing to a set of rules from the moment the idea is first conceived. The idea in physical form, whether through spatial, linguistic, mathematical, or otherwise; it is never constant and the participant observer, or receiver, plays a vital role in its existence. I keep recalling the term feedback loop as one way of thinking of the relationship. Each interaction repeats back onto itself and the experience is novel yet still an accumulation of all past experiences, it is a circuit of interaction that is constantly changing, constantly new, yet still determined by all past actions, or inaction. The creator is also a participant, the participant is also a creator, and through their shared interaction, the space (or creation) can change. Indeed, the created space itself is its own participant, not merely a set object in space but open to change as our understanding, interaction, and manipulation of it can change. While it may be a given created environment, it is not static, it is dynamic. As we talked about ripples before, things happening, either known or unknown, interacted with or not, still influence and penetrate every interaction.  This is the peripheral that is another participant.  Indeed, while we can't directly affect what happens in the peripheral, it still permeates our interaction. 

Here is one visual of how it could work:


The only constant would be existence itself,  I guess the experience of time.  Around this is the multitude of variables that affect experience, all dependent on each piece of the puzzle.  If you think of it like a video game, you can see that no interaction is constant.  I kept thinking of Original Super Mario Brothers for Original Nintendo.  Thinking solely about the environment of the game, there is a set of rules and a seemingly constant way to play but these rules can change with varying constants.  Maybe I will take all the pipes in the game to save time, or maybe I will warp to a different world or discover a new hidden path I didn't know about.  Maybe it will be two player, maybe I will lose lives and have to restart over, with the interaction beginning anew again.  Maybe there will be an error half way through the game.  The point is that it is always variable, no matter how constant the environment can be, our perspective and experience of it is constantly changing.  You can even "hack" the system and disregard its rules completely.

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