Where Am I? Body and Mind Reviewed in the Context of Situatedness and Virtuality

By Kathleen Coessens.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Changing practices and discourses on space, place and situatedness take not only place in the world but are present in the house room. The notions of global and local, virtual and real, embodied and imaginary, private and public, nearness and distance are merging and defy every univocal description. Starting from a relational, human-centred notion of space linked to societal and technological practices and transformations, I will extend this towards interactional and embodied practices of space and identity. Indeed, while researchers, philosophers and human geographers were considering the notion of ‘situatedness’, the technologisation of the world and its human practices has already led to new spaces, places and trajectories: digital technology, virtual spaces and flows, time-space compression, cyberspace. Recently, theories on cyberspace and the extended body as well as research on AI and simulation argued for a scientifically sustained philosophical comprehension of the situated, earth-bounded human being. These theories offer new conceptions and future directions concerning the interaction between humans and their extensions as new spaces and relations. How do humans cope with the contrast between, at the one hand, the finiteness and situatedness of the human being, and, at the other hand, the participation in multiple and multi-modal processes of ‘virtual’ spaces? From these new ambiguities of place as situated and virtual, embodied and dismembered, I will propose the notion of a responsive space. The notions of global and local, virtual and real, embodied and imaginary, private and public, nearness and distance are merging and defy every univocal description. How do humans cope with the contrast between, at the one hand, the finiteness and situatedness of the human being, and, at the other hand, the participation in multiple and multi-modal processes of ‘virtual’ spaces? From these new ambiguities of place as situated and virtual, embodied and dismembered, I will propose the notion of a responsive space.

Keywords: Space, Embodiment, Situatedness, Virtual, Responsive Space

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 11, pp.65-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 614.533KB).

Dr. Kathleen Coessens

Professor, Researcher, Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Kathleen Coessens is philosopher and musician, whose research is situated at the crossings of science and art, human creativity and cultural representations, looked at from an embodied, epistemological and philosophical point of view. She graduated in piano and chamber music at the Conservatory of Brussels and the Ecole Cortot at Paris; at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, she studied philosophy, sociology and psychology. She was awarded her doctorate in 2003 with her thesis, The human being as a cartographer - coping with the already epistemized world. A reworked publication will follow in the next year as The human being as a cartographer. She is now professor and post-doctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science), a Senior Researcher at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music, Ghent, and guest-professor at the Conservatory (Artesis Hogeschool), Antwerpen. She teaches ‘semiotics’, ‘sociology of artistic practice’ and ‘arts and performance culture’. Co-author of The Artistic Turn - a manifesto, with Darla Crispin & Anne Douglas 2009

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