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The Robot in the Garden
Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
Ken Goldberg (ed.),
2000, MIT Press, Leonardo Series, Cambridge, Mass.
366 pages

Introduction: The Unique Phenomenon of a Distance, Ken Goldberg
Eden by Wire: Webcameras and the Telepresent Landscape, Thomas J. Campanella


Telepistemology : Descartes' Last Stand, Hubert Dreyfus
Vicariousness and Authenticity, Catherine Wilson
Information, Nearness, and Farness, Albert Borgmann
Acting at a Distance and Knowing from Afar: Agency and Knowledge on the Internet, Jeff Malpas
Telerobotic Knowledge: A Reliabilist Approach, Alvin Goldman

Art, History, and Critical Theory

The Speed of Light and Virtualized Reality, Martin Jay
To Lie and to Act: Cinema and Telepresence, Lev Manovich
Dialogical Telepresence and Net Ecology, Eduardo Kac
Presence, Absence, and Knowledge in Telerobotic Art, Machiko Kusahara
Exposure Time, the Aura, and Telerobotics, Marina Grzinic
The History of Telepresence: Automata, Illusion, and The Rejection of the Body, Oliver Grau,

Engineering, Interface, and System Design

Feeling is Believing: A History of Telerobotics, Blake Hannaford
Tele-Embodiment and Shattered Presence: Reconstructing the Body for Online Interaction, John Canny and Eric Paulos
Being Real: Questions of Tele-Identity , Judith Donath
Telepistemology, Mediation, and the Design of Transparent Interfaces, Michael Idinopulos


The Film and the New Psychology (1945), Merleau-Ponty
Author Biographies

The book is organised in three sections Philosophy, Art, History, and Critical Theory and Engineering, Interface and Systems Design. The robot in the garden is a collection of essays by experts in the fields of telepresence, history, philosophy and art and essentially about the study of knowledge acquired at a distance. How can we trust our senses, if they perceive events that happen at a distance we cannot naturally perceive at?

Messy notes:

p. 70 Internet "information" is not truth.

p. 78 proximal agency / remote agency

veridical non-veridical
proximal ordinary perception hallucination, illusion
mediated telerobotic perception telefictive experience

p. 96 reality is "fractal," repleted & continuous
p. 101 ethical telepistemology
p. 102 Sherry Turkle: computer complexity, students know less about computers, and less about the real world.
p. 109 Knowledge is revealed as a commonidy (or "information')
p. 114 Bringing near. (Is this a question of immersion to turn going-there into bringing-here? No. Its the overall artistic concept.)

While i was reading this book i woke up to the sound of a clock the rang in the US while i was asleep in the UK.

p. 141 Knowledge - mere believe. How can we trust a website? Trust building measures.
p. 158 VR, telescopes, time: "notion of the present"
"A telerobotic system parallels the telescope, as it provides a mediated perception of a distant reality
Yes, but it is not real-time, but way in the past. and this is just one example. Most of the images work and engage with have become Ersatz for working with the real thing. Noone has ever seen an atom, or a virus and no one ever will. But we all have images in our minds when we think of them. These images are the result of someone's conscious design.
p. 165 Representational technologies: (aha, here we go) Fashion, maps, paintings, to enable: maps, x-rays, arch. drawings.
p. 175 A medium that allows you to take your body with you into some other environment.

Book: Baudrillard's "Fatal Strategies" (sounds like Ballard)

p. 233 Grau: "polysensual illusion" the artist is scientist again.

p. 341 "the image is transformed by the proximity of sound." (continguity!)

p. 343 Kant: In knowledge imagination serves the understanding. In art the understanding serves the imagination.

The joy of art lies in its showing how something takes on meaning - not by referring to already established and aquired ideas but by the temporal or spatial arrangement of elements.

p. 335 Merleau-Ponty:
My perception is [...] not a sum of visual, tactile and audible givens: I perceive in a total way with my whole being; I grasp a unique structure of the thing, a unique way of being, which speaks to all my senses at once.
Synaesthesia, Kippbilder, Pawlow: conditioning

Pudorkin film experiment: scenes / images in a particular order generate meaning and imagined facial expressions that aren't there. "cinematographic language" has yet to be discovered. (Or maybe WE had to develop the Sehgewohnheit. This particular ability of seeing, of making connections where there are NONE.

last update: 4/20/02010 15:48

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