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Experiential Qualities as a method

While I was reading-up on and searching for the "right" Art & Design methodology (that was HCI friendly), in the background this thread took shape, almost naturally and in my spare time. I never anticipated that this section "experiential qualities" would later become part of my methodology. My persistent curiosity exploring the relationship of telematics, visualisation technologies or what is better designated as trans-formation, biofeedback, presence & immersion, and the global consciousness were the driving force.

The exploration began with a collection of very diverse media (art) installations that seemed to have something in common that was yet difficult to isolate. Part of this exploration was to become aware of these similarities and acquiring the ability to communicate them.
Some of them were simple and poetic had interesting content or, in some cases the interaction was interesting. They have originated from diverse backgrounds, thinking and disciplines and they are sometimes incommensurable.
So what are these similarities?
During my research process, my journey, I began to understand that some of these interesting experiential qualities were technically achieved through telepresence effects, biofeedback and the cross-media mapping of data from one medium to another (Which is also referred to as "Non-visual multi-modal visualisation"). From their content they seem to circumscribe an interest in natural processes (weather, wind, earthquakes), geography and distances (time zones), the orbital view of the earth and experiencing these qualities with multiple senses.
Some of the values and affordances have been recognised and described before, some have not. Namely some aspects of Telepresence have been documented well during the last decade by human-computer interaction HCI, but again the area that i am interested in has been not recognised by HCI and not consciously explored by artists or designers.

Mirror me, environment

Within the last decades some art has become truly interactive in the sense that the viewer (and contemplator) has become an important part in the creation of the artwork. A participant without whom the piece would not come into existence. The artist is providing the necessary constraints and affordances within which this interactivity takes place. I made the observation that just as we mirror ourselves in other people, we also mirror ourselves in artworks - especially interactive ones. We see what we can see and what we want to see, only.

From my observations participants approach media art with a leap of faith, innate curiousity and urge to explore. Many pieces do not fill up the promise because they are difficult to "navigate" or interact with, or the results are too ambiguous, arbitrary or hapazard. I distinguished on a very abstract level 3 different kinds of interaction with digital media pieces.

Experiential Qualities, Cognitive Stimulation and the Senses

What is an experience? Nathan Shedroff assembled a lot of material in his publication "Experience Design". Yet i don't see what i consider interesting covered there besides his excercise is missing rigour. While Nathan is reinventing the wheel with a "Taxonomy of the senses" ( ) looking for a "Unified field theory of design" ( ) he completely misses the point that since Aristotelean days the discpline is called "Classification of the senses." Perhaps because taxonomies sounds like a cool thing?
But how may Experiential Qualities be defined? And, if not defined, circumscribed?
Creating "categories" or "qualities" still don't cover what i am looking for in what makes some interactive environments special.

last update: 8/14/02014 10:00

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