[NetBehaviour] Phantom Limbs

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Feb 25 03:17:22 CET 2015

Check out Auditory Neuroscience, Making Sense of Sound, Schnupp, Nelken, 
and King, and Sonic Warfare, Sound, Affect, and The Ecology of Fear, both 
MIT, if you haven't already -

On Wed, 25 Feb 2015, Roger Mills wrote:

> Hi Patrick, thanks for sharing your ISEA paper and revisiting this topic of
> embodiment in virtual performance. I remember reading it at the time in
> 2011, and had hoped I might bump into you there to discuss but we never
> crossed paths.
> I completely concur with your synthesis of neurological research into an
> understanding of virtual perception / cognition, particularly Ramachandran?s
> proposition that ?neurons fire in sympathy with the observation of another
> person?s action.? 
> I would argue that this also extends to sound, which is an integral, if not
> greater part of that same mirror through which we perceive and interpret
> meaning. On this view, sonic characteristics such as timbre, rhythm, melody,
> articulation in speech, music and other sound metaphorically enable the
> meaning making process because we know what it is to make those sounds with
> our voice or bodies. It is this idea of experiential metaphor that is also
> elaborated in the work by Mark Johnson and George Lakoff on image schematic
> experience, which I have previously proposed is useful to understanding
> perception in networked or virtual environments. It is interesting to note
> that Jonson and Lakoff also reference motor / mirror neuron research to
> elaborate their embodied cognition thesis.
> With this in mind, I have often wondered why sound seems to play such a
> minor role in these deliberations, particularly in staple literature such as
> Massumi, Ascott et al (please point out if you or anyone feels i have missed
> something here). This follows what I also find to be a somewhat
> anachronistic, yet still pervasive notion of virtual space being perceived
> objectively as a separate, somehow fluffy academic cosy space (cyberspace)
> between dislocated bodies. 
> In my mind cyberspace, or networked space as I prefer to think of it, is an
> extension of physical spaces and the embodiment of those spaces by the
> social actions that occur in them.  This emerged quite strongly in my own
> case study research of networked music performance (NMP), but perhaps it
> also has something to do with a music or sound focussed medium as opposed to
> the predominantly visual medium of virtual environments such as SL.
> Some of these questions might be discussed in the upcoming Art of Networked
> Practice symposium, although I was hoping, (Randall aside) that there might
> have been a panelist who could speak from a specific NMP practice and
> research perspective. There are many such as Pauline Oliveros, Mara Helmuth,
> Ken Fields for example that I think could contribute poignant ideas that
> relate to many of these issues but IMHO are often overlooked by audiovisual
> focussed telematics perspectives.
> In any event I enjoyed revisiting your paper and its contribution toward the
> much needed 'epistemic arc' as you describe it !
> Best wishes
> Roger
> ?
> Roger Mills
> http://www.eartrumpet.org
> http://roger.netpraxis.net
> http://telesound.net
> "Knowledge is only rumour until it is in the muscle" - Asaro Mudmen,
> Papua New Guinea.

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